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By the Rev. J. Franck Bright, D.D., 

Master of University College, Oxford. 

With Maps and Plans. Crown 8vo. 

Period I.— Medieval Monarchy : The Departure of the 
Romans to Richard III. From a.d. 449 to A.D. 1485. 
4*. 6d. 

Period II. — Personal Monarchy: Henry VII. to James II. 
From a.d. 1485 to a.d. 1688. $s. 

Period III.— Constitutional Monarchy : William and 
Mary to William IV. From a.d. 1689 to a.d. 1837. 
7s. 6d. 

Period IV. — The Growth of Democracy : Victoria. From 
a.d. 1837 to a.d. 1880. 6s. 

Period V. — Imperial Reaction : Victoria. From a.d. 1880 
to a.d. 1 90 1. 4s. 6d. 



*> A 

History of England 








With Maps and Plans S^> J 7 / 





All rights reserved 


A preface to a Fifth Volume may seem superfluous, yet a few 
words are wanted to introduce and perhaps excuse the appear- 
ance of a book treating of events of such very recent date. 
So close is the connection binding the events of history that 
it is always difficult to make a choice (which must in any case 
be arbitrary) of stopping-places to form what it is usual to 
call the beginnings or endings of periods. In writing con- 
temporaneous history, the difficulty is accentuated by the very 
obvious character of this continuity. It is plain that the year 
1 880 cannot in any sense be regarded as such a stopping-place : 
the facts are incomplete, the stream of political opinion con- 
tinues unchecked, and the prominent figures are the same 
both before and after. On the other hand, the death of Queen 
Victoria seems to afford an opportunity of more than usual 
fitness for bringing the story of the fortunes of Great Britain 
to a conclusion. Not only is the close of the long reign and 
the death of a great sovereign in itself something of an era, 
it so happens that in this case it synchronizes with a real 
change of scene. The new reign has begun with different 
actors on the stage, and different objects of public interest. 
The old generation of statesmen has passed away. The grave 
has closed over the fiery will and enthralling eloquence of Mr. 
< Gladstone, and the cool sagacity and experience of Lord Salis- 
bury. Lord Goschen, Sir William Harcourt, and Mr. John 
Morley have withdrawn from the leadership of parties ; the 
high offices of State are filled by comparatively young men. 


It is no longer Ireland which occupies the forefront in political 
warfare ; its place has for the time been taken by the question 
of fiscal reform, hurriedly brought into prominence, but which 
is only one instance of the general tendency to bring all the 
old received opinions afresh to the touchstone. The reaction 
and backward swing of the pendulum, the periodical recurrence 
of which is an historical commonplace, has in fact set in. 

It is scarcely possible to dignify these concluding chapters, 
or probably any narration of contemporary events and opinions, 
with the title of history. The passage of years is necessary 
to winnow the wheat from the chaff, to distinguish in the 
midst of the chaotic confusion of authorities and memories the 
points which are of real historic value. The writer wades 
hopelessly amid the flood of Blue-books, reports, newspaper 
articles, magazines, and political speeches. He is further 
hampered by his own recollections, and in danger of regarding 
as all-important the ephemeral quarrels of party which have 
filled the world with their clamour to the exclusion of the 
weightier principles that underlay them. The most that he 
can hope to achieve with any chance of success is to give such 
a consecutive and simple narrative of the facts, grouped as 
far as possible around certain leading lines of thought, as shall 
render them intelligible and assist the memory in retaining 

Nor are such centres of grouping difficult to find ; an idea 
had already been launched, by which the whole movement of 
affairs both at home and abroad was profoundly influenced. 
Though the word Imperialism means different things to 
different men, the unity of the British empire in one form or 
another may be regarded as the dominating factor of political 
conduct. Openly, or by unrecognised influence, it has shaped 
the whole political life of the time. Its ramifications supply 
what may for the present at least be taken as the historical 
framework on which the events can be arranged. The 
magnificent efforts of the great statesman who devoted the 
closing years of his long life to the cause of Ireland resulted 


in Failure, before the firm opposition of the upper and middle 
classes of England to any slackening of the union between 
the British Isles. A new party line was thus drawn ; and a 
Conservative party, profoundly modified by the influence of 
its Liberal allies but strong in its one principle of union, 
obtained and succeeded in keeping the reins of power. The 
ureal wave of Liberal progress, which had on the whole swept 
on unbroken since the passing of the Reform Bill, was checked. 
The extreme Liberals, whose forms of thought had been gradu- 
ally leavening the policy of Great Britain, robbed of the 
support of their moderate leaders, found themselves called 
upon to meet legislation in which their own ideas were re-cast 
in a Conservative mould. It is not always easy to trace the 
influence of the Imperial idea in the careful and sagacious 
diplomacy of Lord Salisbury. His peace-loving and somewhat 
cynical character did not lend itself to the rasher enthusiasms 
of the time ; but his experienced skill, aided by his great 
European reputation, enabled him to bring the country through 
several awkward difficulties without the sacrifice of any of the 
dignity of the Empire. It was however in the relation of 
Great Britain to the Colonies that the strength of Imperialism 
made itself chiefly visible. In the hands of Mr. Chamberlain, 
the Colonial Office assumed quite a new position of importance. 
Not only was territorial expansion furthered and dormant 
claims brought to realization, but Federation among the 
Colonies themselves with a view to some ultimate form of 
federated empire was actively supported. That such a policy 
should necessitate sooner or later an appeal to force Mas 
almost a matter of course : the long and costly war in South 
Africa was but one of its inevitable results. 

It is thus around the Irish question, the reconstruction of 
parties, a Conservative legislation infused with Liberal ideas, 
a temperate but imperial foreign policy, and an unprecedented 
advance in the importance of the Colonies, that the facts of 
the time seem chiefly to centre. While the writer has 
emphasised these several points, he has thought it better for 


the sake of uniformity to follow the arrangement adopted in 
his previous volumes and to use the successive Ministries as 
the formal divisions of the narrative. He makes no claim to 
special knowledge ; no authorities have been used which are 
not open to any one who desires to study them. The facts 
mentioned have been as far as possible verified by reference 
to public sources. In future years it would be possible to 
write a history of a very different description. Documents 
and correspondence at present inaccessible will then be open 
to the world. Biographies and monographs will supply details 
at present unknown. A truer perspective, a more real appre- 
ciation of the value of facts, will be arrived at. 

Of necessity in a work of this description the omissions 
have been very large. It is hoped that enough has been said 
to give to the readers for whom it is intended a fair if slight 
view of the events of real importance which marked the close 
of the great Queen's reign. 

J. F. B. 

Oxford, February 4, 1904. 








April 1880 to June 1885. 

Prominence of Irish Difficulties, 

Relief of Distress Bill, 

Compensation for Disturbance Bill rejected, 

Boycotting and agrarian outrages, 

Necessity for coercion, 

Irish obstruction in Parliament, 

Irish members suspended, . 

Coercion Bills passed, 

Irish Land Bill, 

Dispute between the Houses, 

Increasing ferment in Ireland, 

Suppression of the Land League, . 

31 r. Forstcr's resignation, . 

The Kilmainham Treaty, . 

Murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish. 

Prevention of Crimes Bill, . 

Arrears Bill, . 

Review of Mr. Forstcr's Irish work, 

Irish National League, 

Arrest of the Invincibles, . 

Mr. Gladstone's Foreign Policy. 

Enforcement of the Berlin Treaty, 

31 r. (Joschen's mission to Constantinople, 

Action of the European concert, 

Settlement of the Greek frontier, 

Difficulties in Egypt, 

Financial reforms in Egypt, 

Arabi's revolt, 

Rift between English and French policy, 














Bombardment of Alexandria, 

Sir Garnet Wolseley's expedition. . 

Reconstitution of Egypt, . 

Appearance of the Mahdi in the Soudan, 

Gordon sent to Khartoum, . 

Wolseley's expedition to Khartoum. 

Death of Gordon, 

Abandonment of the Soudan, 

Lord Cromer's successful work in Egypt, 

Mr. Gladstone's policy in South 

Convention after Majuba Hill, 

Lord Derby's policy, 

The London Convention, 

Cape Colony and Natal, 

Colonial responsibilities, 

Domestic affairs, 

The Franchise Bill, 

The Redistribution Bill, 

News of the Fall of Khartoum, 

Bad news from Afghanistan, 

Divisions in the Liberal party, 

The Budget rejected, 

Mr. Gladstone resigns, 





June 1885 to February 188G. 

1885 Successful foreign policy, . . • 
Irish administration, 
The Ashbourne Act, 

Alliance between Irish and Conservatives, 
Review of Gladstone's administration 
Wave of Socialism, 
The General Election, 
Views of the various leaders, 
Mr. Gladstone's Manifesto, 
The Tory Manifesto, 
Result of the Elections, 
Ireland holds the balance, . 
The unauthorised Home Rule scheme, 

1886 Breach in the Liberal party, 
Jesse Collings' amendment, 
Lord Salisbury resigns, 





Pebbuaey 188G to Ju 

L886 Difficulties in forming the Ministry, 
Desertion of the old Liberals, 
The Home Rule Bill, 
The Land BiU, 

Bitter opposition to both Bills, 
The General Election, 
Mr. Gladstone resigns, 

LY 1880. 


July 188G to August 1892. 






Liberal Unionists decline to join the Ministry, 

Lord Randolph Churchill, . 

Increase of evictions in Ireland. 

Tenant Relief Bill rejected, 

The Plan of Campaign started, 

Mr. Goschen Chancellor of the Exchequer, 

The Round Table Conference, 

New rides of procedure, 

Criminal Law Amendmeut Bill, . 

Land Bill, 

Mr. Balfour as Irish Secretary 

The Queen's Jubilee, 

Political speeches in the recess, 

Trafalgar Square Riots, 

The Dock strike, .... 

New Unionism, .... 

Influence of the Liberal Unionists, 

Mr. Goschen's Conversion Scheme, 

Local Government Bill, 

Disturbed condition of Ireland, 

Mr. O'Donnell's action against the Time.--. 

The Parnell Commission, . 

Extension of the Ashbourne Act, . 

Social improvements in Ireland. 

Fall of Mr. Parnell, 

The Land Purchase Bill, 

The Crimes Act relaxed. 

Successful English legislation. 

The Tithes Bill, 


1891 Technical education, 
Allotment Bill, 
Free Education Bill, 

1892 Small Holdings Bill, 
Irish Local Government Bill suggested. 
The General Election, 
Vote of want of confidence, 

Lord Salisbury resigns, 

Lord Salisbury's foreign policy, 

European armaments, 

1888 Increase of the navy, 

Effects of the policy of isolation, . 

1890 Quarrel with France about Newfoundland 
Difficulties- in Africa, 

Disputes with Portugal, 
Disputes with Germany, 

1889 Annexation of Burmah, 
Lord Dufferin, Viceroy of India, . 

1891 Outbreak in Manipur, 
Fisher) r quarrels with America, 

1892 Summary of foreign policy, 



August 1892 to March 1894. 

1892 Policy of conciliation, 
Foreign affairs, 

1893 The Home Rule Bill rejected, 
English Bills introduced, . 

1894 Parish Councils Bill, 
Employers' Liability Bill, . 

1894 Close of Mr. Gladstone's career, 

March 1891 to June 1895. 

1894 Lord Roseberj^s views, 
New party lines, 

Sir William Harcourt's Budget, 
Alteration of the Death Duties, 



1895 Weakness of the Ministry . 
The Cordite vote, . 
Lord Rosebery resigns, 
The Geneial Election, 






June 1895. 

1895 Mr. Chamberlain Colonial Secretary, 
Settlement of the Siam frontier 

The Ashanti war, . 

1896 Failure of Sir John Gorst's Education Bill 

1897 Voluntary Schools Bill 
1899 Board of Education founded, 
189(5 Agricultural Rating Bill, . 
1807 Workmen's Compensation Bill, 

1899 Government of London Bill, 
Prosperous finances, 
Increase of the navy, 
Reorganisation of the War Office, . 
Expenses of the Boer War. 
Efforts at Federation, 

1900 Foundation of the Australian Commonwealth, 
Comparative peace in Ireland, 

1896 Mr. Gerald Balfour's Land Bill, . 

1898 Irish Local Government Bill, 

1899 Irish Agricultural Department, 
Lord Salisbury's foreign policy, 

1896 The Venezuela boundary difficulty, 

1894 The Armenian atrocities, . 
Lord Kimbcrley's efforts to coerce Turkey 

1895 Lord Salisbury's efforts, 

1896 Outbreak in Constantinople. 
Insurrections in Crete, 

1897 Autonomy established in Crete, 
Affairs in Egypt, 

1898 Recouquest of the Soudan, 
The French at Fashoda, 
Lord Salisbury's successful diplomacy, 
Affairs in China, 

1894 War between China and Japan, 
1897 European interests in China, 
HJ99 The Boxer Insurrection, 

1900 Siege of the Legations in Pekin, . 










Peace with Cbiua, . 

Affairs in India, 

The North-West Frontier difficulties, 

The siege of Chitral, 

Outbreaks among the frontier tribes, 

The Tirah Campaign, 

Famines and plague in India, 

Lord Curzon's commercial measures, 

Affairs in South Africa, 

Origin of the difficulties, . 

Effect of the Restoration of the Transvaal 

The Convention of 1884, 

The discovery of gold, 

Oppression of the Outlanders, 

Mr. Cecil Rhodes, . 

The Jameson Raid, 

The Commission of inquiry, 

Mr. Chamberlain's despatch, 

The Matabele rising, 

Appointment of Sir Alfred Milner, 

The Conference at Bloemfontein, . 

The Boer ultimatum, 

Negligence of the Ministry, 

The South African War, . 

The early disasters, 

Lord Roberts' arrival, 

The relief of Kimberley, . 

Cronje's surrender, 

Occupation of Bloemfontein, 

The Relief of Ladysmith, . 

Annexation of the Orange State, . 

Occupation of Pretoria 

Second phase of the war, . 

Prinsloo's surrender, 

Lord Roberts' advance to Komatipoort, 

President Kruger's withdrawal, 

Supposed end of the war, . 

Lord Roberts' return, 

The General Election, 

Changes in the Ministry, . 

The Queen's death, . 

High appreciation of her character from various political 

The Queen as Empress, 

Signs of reaction, 

Desire for territorial aggrandisement, 

Importance of the House of Lords, 

Attitude of the Church, 



1901 Love of amusement, .... 

I Nsertion of the country for the towns 

Admiration for military life, 

Changed position among other countries, 

Value of the Colonies, .... 

Possibility of a federal empire. 





27 !> 




3. NATAL, 


. 49 

. 220 

. 250 

. 257 


(189G), At end of Book. 


7. SOUTH AFRICA (1899), ... „ 


Page 5, line 27. For 'Plunkett' read ' Plunkct.' 

,, 12, ,, 12. For ' Finnigan ' read ' Finigan.' 

,, 17, ,, 21. For 'Dillon' read 'Litton.' 

,, 57, ,, 26. For 'Dutort' read 'Dutoit.' 

,, 04, ,, 39. For 'Wemys' read ' Wcmyss.' 

,, 82, ,, 39. For 'growing' read 'governing.' 

„ 87, lines 4, 13, 14, 22. For 'Collins' read 'Collings.' 

,, 124, ,, 1G, 20. For 'Courtenay' read 'Courtney.' 

" i[j[|' lme 2 g*}/'or Tauncefort' read ' Pauncefote.' 

„ 231, ,, 18. For 'Binden' read 'Bindon.' 

VICTORIA (continued). 
1837 to 1901. 


KB. GLADSTONE'S MINISTRY, April 28, 1880, to June 12, 1885. 


First Lord of the Treasury, . . . Mr. Gladstone. 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, . . . Mr. Gladstone. 

... Mr. Childers (Dec. 1882). 

Lord Chancellor, Lord Selborne. 

President of the Council, . . . Earl Spencer. 

... Lord Carlingford (Dec. 1882). 

Lord Privy Seal Duke of Argyll. 

„ Lord Carlingford (April 1881). 

„ Lord Rosebery (Jan. 1885). 

Home Secretary, Sir William Harcourt. 

Colonial Secretary, Lord Kimberley. 

Lord Derby (Dec. 1882). 

Fbreign Secretary, Lord Granville. 

War Secretary, Mr. Childers. 

Lord Hartington (Dec. 1882). 

Lilian Secretary, Lord Hartington. 

„ Lord Kimberley (Dec. 1882). 

First Tjord of the Admiralty, . . . Lord Nortbbrook. 

President of the Board of Irade, . . Mr. Chamberlain. 

Postmaster-General, .... Mr. Fawcett. 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, . Mr. Bright. 

. Mr. Dodson (Dec. 1882). 

„ . Mr. Trevelyan (Oct. 1884). 

President of Local Government Board, . Mr. Dodson. 

. Sir Charles Dilke (Dec. 1882). 

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, . . . Earl Cow per. 

,. „ Earl Spencer (May 1882). 

Chief Secretary for Ireland, . . . Mr. Forster. 

„ „ „ Mr. Trevelyan (May 1882). 

„ • „ Mr. Campbell -Bannerman (Oct. 1884). 

rn TIE attempt to throw into a historical form the events of a period so 
-*- near at hand as that which opens with the elec- Difficulties of 
tions of 1880 is beset with difficulties almost insuperable. the P eriod - 
Tbc writer who attempts it finds himself struggling in the midst of an 
enormous mass of contemporary documents, and, still worse, contem- 
porary comments generally of an ephemeral or party character. The 
lights flashed from all sides upon the scene entirely disturb the 


perspective. Matters of no importance in their influence upon the real 
6tream of history occupy a space wholly disproportionate to their proper 
claims. Personal questions, personal views, political passions, and 
individual opinions, which have formed the subject of many months of 
heated controversy, themselves worthless and uncertain, are apt to put 
on the appearance of the very groundwork of that national life which 
is being described. After all has been carefully considered, the writer 
knows full well that there are extant masses of letters and private 
memoranda to which he cannot obtain access, but which, were they 
made public, as many of them will hereafter be, might overthrow any 
conclusion at which he may have arrived. There is the constant risk 
of sinking into the mere annalist, or, what is even worse, of obtruding 
the crude thought of the moment under the assumed form of proved 
fact or well-supported generalisation; while over all there lies an 
ever-present consciousness that there is no single fact of which he 
makes mention with which many men still living are not much better 
acquainted than the writer himself. It is not without much misgiving 
that the narrative of Queen Victoria's reign is now resumed. 

Though the General Election of 1880 had given an overwhelming 
-*»■ «, * 4. . majority to the Liberal party, it was not at the moment 

Mr. Gladstone's J J / . . . 

Ministry, certain to whom the formation of the Ministry would 

be entrusted. Lord Hartington had shown much ability 
as leader of the Opposition, and his speeches before and during the 
election had been of a weight and excellence surpassing the general 
expectation. But it was felt on all sides that the reappearance of Mr. 
Gladstone in the active field of politics, and the excitement caused by 
his Midlothian speeches, had been the chief cause of the sweeping 
reaction; a Ministry without him seemed, under the circumstances, 
impossible, and he could scarcely serve in a Ministry of which he was 
not the head. The Queen, with her careful regard for constitutional 
precedent, could not avoid sending in the first place for Lord Hart- 
ington ; but it was soon known that he had advised her to ask Mr. 
Gladstone to undertake once again the duties of Premier, and that 
her offer had been accepted. 

The first condition of a progressive Liberal party is the existence 
within it of a section of reformers, much in advance of the more sober 
and experienced men of which its bulk consists. Such men had 
played a conspicuous part in the struggle which had resulted in the 
complete swing of the political pendulum. The greatness of his 
majority left Mr. Gladstone much freedom of choice, and considerable 
interest was felt as to the share in the new Ministry which would be 


allotted to the advanced wing of the party. The first appointments 
published made it evident that lie was not inclined to reorganise the 
party by the admission of the ultra-Liberals to the Cabinet, but was 
determined to rely upon his old supporters. Lord Granville for 
foreign affairs, Lord Eartington for India, Lord Northbrook at the 
Admiralty, Mr. Childers at the War Oilice, Mr. Forster as Irish 
Secretary, and Lord Selborne as Lord Chancellor, were the first 
names announced. But a notable addition was made when two men, 
destined to play a very prominent part in subsequent political history, 
were added to the Cabinet — Sir William Vernon Harcourt as Secretary 
for the Home Department, and Mr. Chamberlain as President of the 
Board of Trade. 

There was an obvious danger that the enthusiasm which had 
produced such striking results at the election would 
be followed by a chill of disappointment when the appointment of 
Ministry came face to face with the difficulties with the Radicals - 
which it was surrounded. Already, before the opening of Parlia- 
ment, it had been necessary to sound a note of warning. Even Mr. 
Chamberlain had felt called upon to point out to his Radical friends 
that they must not expect a Government in which all shades of 
Liberal opinion were represented to work as quickly as its most eager 
members might desire. The creation of such a Government in itself 
implied compromise. 

With regard to the general policy of the new Government, both its 
supporters and its adversaries expected that it would largely reverse 
the action of its predecessors. It had been largely recalled to power 
by the exertions of men who saw with strong dislike the development 
.if an imperial temper in the national relations, both with other 
countries and with the Colonies. Yet it was contrary to all the 
traditions of English party government to break in any marked 
manner the continuity of foreign policy; and one part of the imperial 
idea, which consisted in the attempt to give more vigorous life to 
the Colonies by means of federation, appealed strongly to several 
members of the Cabinet. It was inevitable that on these two 
points the desires of the more fervid Liberals would encounter 

\ i i 11 greater difficulty was to be found in Ireland, where, not 
unnaturally, considering the action of the Irish voters _ 

iii. ii „,.,.. , Prominence of 

in the late election, the hope of legislation in accord- Irish diffl- 
ance with the popular wishes ran high; yet, in the cu ties - 
presence of the general feeling in England, it was impossible that 


these hopes should be satisfied. In his letter to the Duke of Marl- 
borough (March 9, 1880), Lord Beaconsfield had indicated the Irish 
question as the chief difficult}' of the time. Yet the immediate pro- 
minence which it occupied in public affairs came somewhat as a surprise. 
The Queen's speech touched on three great branches of foreign and 
colonial policy, in India, Turkey, and South Africa; it promised what 
might be considered as a fair amount of domestic legislation. But 
•with respect to Ireland, it confined itself to the simple though im- 
portant declaration that the Peace Preservation Act, now approaching 
its end, would be allowed to lapse, as the Government intended to 
rely upon the resources of the ordinary law for the maintenance of 
peace and order. But signs of approaching storm were visible even in 
the debate on the Address. There was no lack of indication that all 
hope of postponing the Irish difficulty, and of devoting the session to 
the quiet fulfilment of much-needed domestic reforms, would prove 
futile. The Government was assailed on both sides. The Conservatives 
emphasised and deplored the deep responsibility the Government had 
undertaken in dispensing with special legislation, their chief weapon 
for the maintenance of order. The Irish members complained bitterly 
of the absence from the Ministerial programme of any curative 
measures, more especially of any reform of the Land Laws ; while 
recognising the impossibility of complete or immediate legislation on 
this point, they demanded at least a temporary measure for delaying 
evictions until a more mature settlement could be arrived at. 

Shortly after the close of the debate on the Address a Bill was 
Relief of Dis- brought in by Mr. O'Connor Power to give effect to 
tress Bin. the wishes already expressed by the Irish members. 

It met with the sympathy of the Government. Mr. Forster consented 
to embody it in a measure which was already before the House. 
This measure, known as the Pvclief of Distress Bill, was rendered 
necessary by the extreme distress at that time prevalent in Ireland. 
It was intended to continue and enlarge an Act which had been passed 
in the last session, giving leave for the employment of a portion of 
the Irish Church surplus funds in loans to landlords for relief works. 
It was not wholly acceptable to the Irish members. They raised the 
cry constantly recurring whenever Bills of this sort were introduced, 
that the landlords alone would get any advantage. Their opposition 
was quieted by an additional grant of £200,000 towards outdoor 
relief; and the Bill, as it originally stood, was speedily carried. Not 
so the new clause embodying Mr. O'Connor Power's suggestion. So 
vehement was the opposition of the Conservatives, that it was found 


necessary to remove the clause, and to introduce it as a separate 
measure under the title of Compensation for Disturbance Bill. 

The object of this Bill was avowedly temporary, to. relax till 
ili.' cud of 1881, the restrictions laid upon compensa- _ 

7 r k Compensation 

timi by the existing law. The Land Act of 1870 had forDisturb- 
sel a limit to the compensation which a tenant could 
claim upon eviction for non-payment of his rent; if he owed a full 
year's rent, no compensation at all was due to him. The Irish saw in 
this a very formidable power given to the landlords. It was true that 
•• it' the rent was exorbitant 1 ' the restriction was removed; but a rent 
might be high without being exorbitant, and if a landlord set a high 
ri ut. and refused to lower it in a bad season, he would be able to evict 
without paying compensation. The Compensation for Disturbance 
Bill enacted that an evicted tenant had a right to compensation if he 
could prove that his inability to pay his rent was not caused by his 
own thriftlessness, but by the agricultural depression in this and the 
two preceding years, and that he was willing to continue his tenancy 
on reasonable terms. Mr. Forster defended the Bill by the assertion 
that the sudden increase of evictions had made it absolutely necessary; 
already in only half the year they had reached the number of 107o, as 
against 500 in the five years preceding the year 1877. It encountered 
a furious opposition, headed by Mr. Chaplin, who made himself the 
champion of the rights of property ; Lord Beaconsfield's prophecy that 
" the Land Act would create a new Irish grievance, the payment of 
?'///," was, he declared, fulfilled. lie found a vigorous following. 
Lord Randolph Churchill denounced the Bill as the first step in a 
BOeial war: Mr. Plunkett saw in it a mere political proposal, a direct 
confiscation in fact of the property of one class in favour of another; 
while Mr. YV. II. Smith asked whether the Government were prepared 
t" extend the principle to tradesmen who could not pay their rent in 
bad times. A striking instance of the impossibility of applying the 
principles of one Bystem of land-owning to another had arisen. The 
Land Act of L870 had treated the tenants as partners with the landlord, 
but had reserved the actual property to the landlord. If the relation 
of landlord and tenant was regarded in any sense as a partnership, both 
partners should sutler; this was the Irish vicw\ If the landlord was 
iif owner of the land, he should be able to let it under contract, and 
on failure of the contract he should resume possession; this was the 
landlord's wew. The Liberal party, as represented by the Govern- 
ment, did not allow the necessity of this alternative; the}- still aimed 
at producing a compromise which should save the rights of property 


as understood in England. Mr. Gladstone even went so far as to say- 
that the Bill was rather for the protection than for the destruction of 
the rights of property, because it enabled the Government with a 
clear conscience to use all the means in its power to support them. 
The Bill, he averred, touched only one peculiar incident of property, 
eviction, which had been but lately introduced into Ireland, and 
which, he declared (suddenly assuming the other side of the com- 
promise), had been established fraudulently behind the back and 
against the rights of the occupier. Both the Premier and Lord 
Hartington were careful to point out that the passing of the Bill ought 
not to lead to a general movement against the payment of rent, 
because all the old means of enforcing such payments were left in the 
landlord's hands. The debates were long and heated, but finally, 
after thirteen da} r s, on the 26th of July, the Bill was carried. A 
week later the House of Lords contemptuously threw it out by a 
majority of more than two hundred. 

It is a matter of profound regret that no question of Irish policy 
consequences can be discussed with reasonable arid intelligent calm- 
of JJlSa e - ction ness - The lines of party have been marked with so 
turbance Bill. much exaggeration, religion and passion have played 
so large a part in Irish history, years of mis-rule have created so thick 
a cloud of prejudice between the two countries, that difference of 
opinion invariably leads to exaggerated passion, which finds its 
expression it riot and disturbance. The persevering immobility which 
has constantly marked the dealings of the English Parliament, and the 
sudden collapse of opposition to reforms which has again and again 
attended the outbreak of disaffection, had unfortunately taught the 
Irish the double lesson that violent pressure would prove successful, 
and that nothing short of violent pressure would avail. The rejection 
of the Compensation for Disturbance Bill was followed, as might have 
been expected, by a renewed crop of outrages ; and the well-meant 
determination of the Government to maintain order only by the firm 
administration of the existing laws began to assume the appearance of 
an act of culpable weakness and folly. On the 25th of September, only 
a few days after the conclusion of the long session, Lord Mountmorres 
was murdered near his own house, with circumstances of extreme in- 
humanity. This outrage was followed in many parts of Ireland by all 
the worst signs of agrarian disturbance. The agents of the law were 
roughly handled in the execution of their duties, and shots were again 
and again fired into their windows. Bands of masked men burst into 
the houses of bailiffs and caretakers. Evicted tenants were replaced 

1880] B0YC0TTIXG 7 

upon the land by force; and if no personal violence was done to those 
who had paid their rent, their cattle were frequently houghed or 
mutilated; while hundreds of threatening letters were received by 
landlords and land agents. Only a fortnight after the murder of Lord 
Mmmtmorres a similar outrage was attempted near Bantry Bay; 
the landlord, indeed, escaped, but the driver of his car was shot. 

There was a very general belief that these outrages were fomented 
by the Land League, although the leaders per- 
sistently repudiated the charge. However this may 
be, they certainly seized with avidity upon a new form of coercion as 
cruel as it was effective. Mr. Parnell, in one of his addresses, had 
thrown out a hint that farmers who refused to join or to obey the 
League should be shunned as lepers. The suggestion quickly bore 
fruit. Tn October a letter appeared in the newspapers from a land 
agent in Mayo, named Captain Boycott, narrating his experiences. 
All intercourse with him and his family had been absolutely stopped, 
no servant would remain with them, no shopkeeper would sell to them, 
no labourer would work on his farm. A volunteer expedition from 
the Orange counties, protected by 7000 troops, was required to 
harvest his crops and to bring him and his family to a place of safety. 
The newly devised system of persecution, which received its name 
from its first victim, was openly adopted as their chief weapon by the 
Land League. Conviction of any action regarded as an offence by 
the League was followed by a sentence of " Boycotting," which meant 
to its victim something little short of financial ruin. A reign of terror 
was estahlished, which threatened to make the law of the Land 
ue the paramount law of the country. The system was the more 
:tual because there was much doubt whether it could be regarded 
as an infringement of any actual law. 

The crisis appeared so acute that it was generally supposed that an 
autumn session would be held and extraordinary powers Arrest and 
demanded by the Government. No such course was f^eiland ' 
followed. Additional troops were sent to the dis- leaguers, 
turbed districts, hut the Government were satisfied with attempting 
to strike a blow which could scarcely fail to be futile. After much 
consultation, the law officers declared their belief that the leaders of 
the Land League had gone beyond the law and had laid themselves 
open to L'jral proceedings. Their arrest was at once carried out 
iber 1880), but, as might have been expected, no satisfactory 
ill followed their trial. It was with the greatest difficulty that 
jurors or witnesses could be found willing to risk the dangers attending 


the displeasure of the Land League. A verdict of acquittal was a 
foregone conclusion. 

The opportunity was not neglected by the Opposition. Few things 
are more disastrous than the failure of a Government prosecution. 
The apparent weakness and supineness of the Liberal Ministry was 
an easy topic of invective. Yet Mr. Gladstone, in his speech at the 
Lord Mayor's dinner, had plainly stated that if it became necessary he 
would not shrink from having recourse to special coercive legislation. 
When Parliament met in January 1881 it was evident that the 
Necessity for necessity had in fact arisen. The Government had 
coercion. found themselves unable to secure the rights and 

liberties of those who were opposed to the Land League. They were 
forced to acknowledge their inability; but they had no intention of 
entering upon the hopeless task of attempting to restore order by 
means of coercion alone. They felt it to be their duty to attack the 
causes for the discontent, of which the prevailing disorder was but 
the symptom. A Coercion Bill and a reform of the Land Law were 
both necessary. The only question to be decided was the order of 
precedence of the two measures. No man was more full of humane 
instincts than Mr. Forster; but his visits to Ireland had impressed 
upon him a very "dark view of its condition, and he felt himself in- 
capable of coping with the disorder, unless armed with some form of 
coercion. No man was more ready than Mr. Gladstone to sympathise 
with the Irish and to redress their grievances ; but he had lived all his 
life amid the dignified traditions of English administration, and disorder 
was abhorrent to him. Under the influence of these two statesmen, 
the Cabinet decided that the disorder must be repressed before curative 
measures could be introduced. 

A lengthened debate upon the Address postponed any immediate 
action. The Queen's speech had in a few strong words described the 
terrible condition of Ireland, and the necessity for additional powers to 
suppress disorder. It also recommended the further development of 
the principles of the Land Act of 1870, and the establishment of some 
form of county government founded on representative principles. 

The debate on the Address gave occasion for the display of bitter 
lrish opposition from the Irish party. Obstruction had 

obstruction. already made its appearance in the preceding Parlia- 
ment, and the length to which the debate was extended by amend- 
ments from the Irish members was generally stigmatised as a fresh 
exhibition of the same objectionable tactics. But it must be remembered 
that the speech from the throne contained a distinct indication that a 


strong measure of coercion would be introduced, and it was not with- 
out truth that the Irish members urged that their constitutional rights 
were gravely threatened, and that since the state of parties precluded 
any effective resistance to the Ministry, it was only by persistence that 

they could influence public opinion in their favour. The line taken 
by them throughout the debate was the assertion of the innocence of 
the Land League in respect to outrage, the spontaneous and universal 
character of the discontent which directly resulted from the reject inn 
of the Compensation Bill, and, as a deduction from these facts, the 
wisdom nay necessity of remedial measures before coercion was 
attempted ; for it was possible that coercion would not be necessary, 
and it was certain, if applied, to render still more difficult the 
establishment of order. 

The most striking incident of the debate was the assumption on 
tin- part of Mr. Parnell of the position of a rival leader Mr Pameii's 
offering terms to Government. In supporting an proposals, 
amendment of Mr. Justin McCarthy, to the effect "that the Crown 
should refrain for the present from the use of its naval, militar} T , or 
constabulary forces in carrying out evictions.'* Mr. Parnell took the 
opportunity of giving a clear exposition of his views. He regarded it 
as necessary that the relation of landlord and tenant'should disappear 
in Ireland ; there would then cease to be any class supported by 
English influence, and the united people might without friction or 
violence obtain legislative independence. He went so far as to say 
that, if a fair chance of success presented itself, it was the duty of 
every Irishman to sbed his blood for his country, and concluded by 
asserting that if the Government began by coercion they would have 
no opportunity of settling the land law, for the first arrest would be 
followed by a determined opposition to the payment of rent. Such 
language was not calculated to soften the antagonism which had now 
a— nnied a national form and affected both parties in the House, with 
the exception of a few of the most advanced reformers. 

Immediately after the passing of the Address, Mr. Forster moved 
for leave to introduce his Coercion Bills, known as the stormy scenes 
11 Protection of Property" and the "Arms Bill." It iatheHouse. 
was the signal for a tremendous Btruggle, which dealt a severe blow to 
tip' dignity of Parliament and necessitated very important modifica- 
tions in the procedure of the House. Whether the Irish members 
had been justified in the prolongation of the debate on the Address or 
not, they had by this time matured a Bystem of opposition based upon 
the strained employment of the usages of Parliament which could 


hardly fail to throw discredit upon the House. By speeches of 
inordinate length, resumed relentlessly again and again after the Chair 
had pointed out that the wide disquisitions were out of order, and by 
repeated motions for adjournment necessitating wearisome divisions, 
they succeeded in wasting the time of the House during a continued 
sitting of twenty-two hours. It was not till two o'clock on Wednesday, 
January 26th, that the sitting begun on Tuesday evening was brought 
to a conclusion. This was but an opening exhibition of the tactics of 
obstruction. On the 31st of January Mr. Gladstone, on being asked 
whether it was proposed to have another all-night sitting, replied that 
the vote on the introduction of the Bill must be taken at all events in 
that sitting. The challenge was taken up by Mr. Parnell. In a speech 
which was not without cogency, he declared that a prolonged sitting 
would not conduce to the dignity of the House, and that the Govern- 
ment would be no further advanced with their measure even if they 
sat for three nights than if they consented to an immediate adjourn- 
ment on the understanding that a compromise should be effected and 
the debate concluded on the following day. But the English members 
had by this time lost their temper, and were by no means inclined to 
yield to the wishes of a small minority. Thus for forty-one dreary 
hours the debate dragged on, the House being kept up by relays, and 
the Chair taken sometimes by the Speaker, sometimes by other 

It is difficult to understand the reason for the unyielding obstinacy 
of the majority. The powers of the Speaker had already been in- 
creased for the purpose of thwarting obstruction, and it is probable 
that there was a difference of opinion between the Conservatives, who 
desired to put in force the rules they had themselves made, and the 
Liberals, who desired a different method. By the new rules the 
Speaker had the right of " naming," and by a vote of the House 
" suspending " individual members. But he declined to make use of 
this power. In vain did Sir Stafford Northcote and Mr. Smith 
attempt to throw upon the Government the duty of setting the Chair 
in motion. Mr. Bright replied that the responsibility lay with the 
House, and not with the Government, and at the same time he 
indicated that the Prime Minister intended to make certain proposi- 
tions which the House might discuss. At last, at nine o'clock on 
Wednesday morning, February 2d, the Speaker, returning to the Chair, 
took the matter into his own hands, and carried out a sort of coup 
d'etat. Refusing to hear Mr. Biggar, who was addressing the House, 
he explained the necessity of his action in a few strong words, and at 


once put the question of the amendment which was being debated. 
The amendment was thrown out by a majority of 145. lie then put 
the main question, that leave be given to bring in the Bill, and refused 
to hear any further remarks on it. The Home Rulers rose, and with 
shouts of " Privilege " left the House. Mr. Forster at once brought 
up the Bill, and when the Speaker asked when the second reading 
would be taken, Mr. Gladstone answered decisively, "At twelve 
o'clock to-day." The House then adjourned for three hours' rest. 

The form of the Coercion Bill, which had been a well-kept secret 
till the opening of Parliament, had leaked out during Mr. Forster's 
these scenes of disorder. It was somewhat unpre- Coercion Bills, 
cedented in its character. As explained by Mr. Forster on the 4th of 
February, the disorder in Ireland and the difficulty found in the ad- 
ministration of justice depended chiefly upon the existence of a limited 
number of men, without whose active participation the speeches of 
the Land Leaguers would have been futile enough. It was the removal 
of these men, whom the police knew well, and whom he stigmatised 
under the name of "village tyrants," at which Mr. Forster aimed. 
By his Bill the Lord Lieutenant was to have the power of issuing 
warrants for the arrest of any one whom he suspected to be guilty of 
treasonable or agrarian offences. The prisoner was to be treated as 
unconvicted, but might be detained without trial till the last day of 
1882. There was no definition of the offences, and the power of 
arrest depended solely upon that most dangerous and elastic ground, 
suspicion. The Bill thus obviously placed an extraordinary power in 
the hands of Government. It was brought in under very peculiar 

The forty-one hours' sitting and its authoritative closure by the 
Speaker rendered some definite measure necessary for Gladstone's 
the furtherance of public business. And even before resolut i° n for 

r suspending: 

the adjournment on that memorable Wednesday Mr. members. 
Gladstone gave notice of a resolution, by which a motion might be made 
declaring the state of public business urgent; if supported by forty 
members, the Speakerwas to put the question at once without debate; 
if a majority of not less than three to one supported the motion, business 
became "urgent" and the whole regulation of business passed into the 
hands of the Speaker. It was plain that this was a drastic method of 
destroying what had hitherto been regarded as the rights of the 
minority. It is true that the proportion of assents required before 
urgency could be declared was large enough to secure the measure 
from abuse under ordinary circumstances; but when there existed, as 


at the present moment, a combination of the two great parties, it 
seemed as though the voice of the small minority of Irishmen would 
be entirely quenched. It is not surprising that their opposition pro- 
duced a new scene of wild disorder. 

On the 3d of February the scene began. Mr. Gladstone, on at- 
tempting to bring forward his resolution, was interrupted by Mr. Dillon, 
whose opposition was only put aside by his forcible removal from the 
House by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Mr. Parnell was the next victim. 
He insisted upon his right to move that ' ' Mr. Gladstone should be no 
Irish members longer heard.'" He was named, suspended, and re- 
suspended. moved with a show of force. Again Mr. Gladstone 

attempted to speak, but was interrupted by Mr. Finnigan, who also 
was removed. During the divisions following the motions for the 
removal of these members the Irish had refused to vote. For thus 
disregarding the authority of the Chair the Speaker named them all. 
Their removal was voted en masse, and each, after saying a few words, 
left the House when touched by the Sergeant-at-Arms. Thirty-six 
members in all were suspended. 

The incident gave occasion to a fine piece of eloquence on the 
part of Mr. Gladstone. After explaining the real value and meaning 
of liberty of speech, he concluded in the following words : " Character 
and honour are the essence of the House of Commons. As you value 
the duties which have been committed to you, as you value the 
traditions that you have received, as you estimate highly the interests 
of this vast empire, I call upon you without hesitation, after the 
challenges that have been addressed to you, after what you have 
suffered, to rally to the performance of a great public duty, and to 
determine that you will continue to be, as you have been, the main- 
stay and public glory of your country, and that you will not degenerate 
into the laughing-stock of the world." 

Mr. Gladstone's resolution was carried practically without altera- 
. „.,, tion. The Speaker produced a set of stringent rules 

Coercion Bills - L »■,■,■, t • -, 

passed, March for the management ot the debate, and it was under 
2 and 2i, 1881. these rules that the Coercion B j]i was declared urgent 

and brought in. Strong though the new rules were, they did not 
prove sufficient. A discussion of four days in Committee had only 
settled a single sub-section of a single clause. The Speaker therefore 
felt it his duty to produce a still more stringent rule for putting an 
end to dilatory discussions in Committee. It was only by taking 
advantage of this new rule that the Bill got through the Committee 
stage by the 23d of February. No less than nineteen amendments 

1881] IRISH I.AXD BILL 13 

■were still undiscussed, and were put silently to the vote in accordance 
with the new regulations. On the twenty-fourth day of the debate 
"The Protection of Property Bill" was passed. " The Arms Bill" 
after a similar troublous course was passed and became law (March 21). 

The first step in their Irish programme being thus completed, the 
Government were able to produce the remedial measures which were 
to justify coercion. On the 7th of April Mr. Gladstone explained his 
Bill for the improvement of the Irish Land Law. 

In the unceasing discussions which had arisen respecting the 
necessary reforms of the Land Laws there had been, i, an dBiii 
as Mr. Parnell had pointed out, varieties of opinion introduced, 
among the relormers, which covered the wide interval 
lying between what was known as the " three F's " and the resumption 
of the land by the occupiers. Fixity of tenure, free sale, and fair 
rents were the programme of the one party. This formula recognised 
a dual ownership, but limited the right of the owner to a fixed and 
perpetual rent-charge on the land. The other party arguing that years 
of over-renting had long since fully satisfied any claim of ownership, 
demanded as a matter of justice the restitution of the land to the 
occupier; in other words, confiscation pure and simple. Seen from 
the ordinary English point of view, both extremes seemed to encroach 
largely upon the rights of property; and even the less stringent reform 
was an obvious assault on the principle of free contract, which is the 
basis of the English law. But Mr. Gladstone, and those who thought 
with him, believed that the doctrines of political economy were 
modified by the circumstances of those to whom they were applied, 
lie recognised the fact that the Irish had never fully accepted the 
strict doctrine of property in land, and that the legislation of 1870 had 
considerably increased the value of the occupier's interest, which to 
the Irish mind was as completely his property as the landlord's interest 
was the property of the landlord. Such general confiscation as was 
implied in the exaggerated view of the extreme Land Leaguers was 
obviously out of the question. But the Government, maintaining the 
idea of a quasi-partnership, attempted in the Bill which was now pro- 
duced to establish a permanent settlement of the rights of the two 
partners. To turn into written law an ill-defined though strongly felt 
usage requires the most careful and elaborate consideration of 
difficulties which might arise under a great variety of circumstances; 
ili«- Bill was of necessity loaded with a mass of details. The mastery 
of these details shown by Mr. Gladstone, and the untiring ability and 
patience with which he explained or modified them, excited the 


admiration even of his bitterest opponents. But the character of the 
Bill rendered it open to assault on all sides, and afforded an infinite 
number of points on which discussion might arise. In its main pro- 
visions it legalised free sale, and if not fixity, yet continuity of tenure, 
and something which might be spoken of as fair rent. It was this last 
point which offered the greatest difficulty. 

If " fair rent" was not that which was arrived at by ordinary com- 
petition in the market, it was necessary either to define it (which was 
practically impossible) or to establish some authoritative machinery 
by which, if not a fair, at least a judicial rent could be settled 
in each case as it arose. A Royal Commission, which had 
lately been sitting, known as the Bessborough Commission, had 
reported in favour of the establishment of a Land Court; and 
it was the creation of such a Court which was the chief basis of Mr. 
Gladstone's present measure. Access to this Court was optional, open 
to tenants or to landlord and tenant acting in common, not to a landlord 
alone. Rents, when once judicially fixed, were to be unchangeable 
for fifteen years. Evictions during that time, except for breach 
of covenant or non-payment of rent, were to be rendered impossible. 

The second part of the Bill was occupied with two proposals of a 
somewhat different character, for the purpose of alleviating the diffi- 
culties of the present crisis. The first of these proposals was " assisted 
emigration." The Land Commissioners were to be allowed to pro- 
mote emigration by advancing money to the agents of any British 
colony or dependency, for the purpose of assisting poorer emigrants. 
The second proposal was the establishment, on a somewhat small 
scale, of peasant proprietorship. In order to afford assistance to 
occupiers and enable them to obtain possession of their holdings, the 
Commissioners were to be allowed to advance, on satisfactory security, 
as much as three-fourths of the sum required for purchase ; or even 
directly to purchase estates for the purpose of reselling to the tenants 
their respective holdings, if fully satisfied both of the expediency of 
the step and that" a sufficient number of the tenants on the estate 
demanded it. 

Such a Bill was clearly open to a great variety of attacks. The 
Objections to landowners saw in it a method of lowering their rents, 
the Land Bill. which they stigmatised as confiscation. " It is a Bill," 
said the Duke of Argyll, "by which three persons are authorised to 
settle the value of the whole country." To the political economist it 
seemed a violent assault upon one of 'the first principles of his science, 
the settlement of values by the relation of supply and demand. To the 


lawyer its details afforded problems to which no logical answer could be 
found, and there lay at the root of it a confusion of two principles, 
ownership and partnership. To the more sensible Irish reformers 
it appeared doubtful whether a Bill of such complexity, and. falling so 
far short of the extreme wishes of the people, would really afford any 
permanent settlement of the questions at issue between landlord and 
tenant. To the extreme Nationalists, trained of late years by the 
language of their parliamentary leaders to desire the entire destruction 
of landlordism, not only did the means afforded for the establishment 
of a peasant proprietorship seem inadequate, but the mere fact that 
landlordism was re-established by it under fresh safeguards rendered 
the Bill highly objectionable. Nor were the emigration clauses to 
their mind ; for it was an article of the Nationalist creed that the 
population of Ireland was not too great for the resources of the country 
if properly developed; the redistribution of the people, and not their 
removal, was the object they desired. 

The Bill, thus open to reasonable question and not satisfactory to 
the Irish themselves, seemed to the bulk of the Conservative party an 
uncalled-for interference with the existing Land Law. They believed 
that simpler measures securing social and material improvements^ with 
some slight increase of peasant proprietorships, were the proper means 
of meeting the requirements of the country. 

On the other side, the majority of the House accepted the position 
of Mr. Gladstone. To him the situation was political 
rather than economical, and the questions were to be reasons for the 
treated in that large spirit of statesmanship which :LandBm - 
accepts compromise and acknowledges anomaly, which overrides even 
real class interests in the pursuit of great and beneficent public objects. 
The necessity for the measure, he declared, was to be found in the 
Bcarcity of land wherewith to satisfy the "land hunger" which 
formed so strong but so abnormal an element of the character of the 
Irish peasant. The chief principles of the Bill were the honest 
acceptance of Irish ideas and customs ; its main point was the estab- 
lishment of a Court which should moderate and legalise those customs. 
This was entirely in accordance with his previous handling of the Irish 
question, and he was able to adduce in support of such a Court the 
cpinion expressed by Lord Beaconsfield himself and the recommenda- 
tion of two Boyal Commissions. 

In accordance with these various views, the various sections of the 
Opposition expressed their dissent from the Bill. While Mr. Gibson 
demanded compensation for what was nothing short of a great act 


of attainder against the landlords, the Conservative party as a whole 
Criticisms of produced an amendment declaring that the House was 
the Land Bin. disposed to promote the social and material improve- 
ment of Ireland " by measures for the development of its industrial 
resources, rather than by a measure which confuses, without settling 
upon a permanent basis, the relations between landlord and tenant." 
Lord Elcho bitterly denounced what he considered the economic 
heresies of the Bill ; and Mr. Parnell, stigmatising it as "a miserable 
half remedy," refused to support it. The second reading, however, in 
spite of the abstention of the Irish party, was carried by 352 to 176. 
In fact, in presence of the disturbed condition of Ireland, most men 
considered the passing of some Bill of this sort as a matter of urgent 
necessity. It was in Committee that the real onslaught began. Night 
after night the details of every clause were subjected to the most 
minute and hostile criticism. The discussion which began on the 
26th of May was not concluded till the 30th of July, on which day the 
third reading was taken. 

During these two months of struggle many alterations and 
The Land Bm additions had been made in the Bill ; but the constant 
in committee. skiU an d attention with which Mr. Gladstone en- 
countered his adversaries enabled him to bring it out of Committee 
without much loss so far as its original principles were concerned. 
The attacks came from both sides, and to both parties in the quarrel 
concessions had to be made. With a natural wish to limit the action 
of the Bill as far as possible, the landlords, with Mr. Heneage as their 
spokesman, urged an amendment which excepted from its action those 
estates which were conducted on what was spoken of as the English 
system. Much of the necessity for the Bill depended on the prevalent 
custom which left the improvements to the tenant ; but there were a 
considerable number of estates in which, as in England, the improve- 
ments were the work, and therefore logically the property, of the 
landlord. The reasonableness of the demand to exclude such estates 
from the new law was so strongly felt that Mr. Heneage's amendment 
was rejected in a full House by a majority of only 25. On some other 
points the Government found it necessary to yield. The most impor- 
tant of the concessions they made to the landlord was his freedom of 
access to the Land Court. By the Bill, as introduced, the Court 
seemed to have been regarded as an instrument for saving the tenant 
from exorbitant rentals ; it was taken for granted that there could be 
no error in the other direction. The landlords now succeeded in 
obtaining the recognition of such a possibility, and the right to appeal 


to the Court for remedy. Two important clauses which were added 
to the Bill were, on the other hand, concessions to the tenant. One 
of the burning questions of the time was the payment of arrears; so 
long as this weight of debt hung upon the tenant, the Nationalists 
declared that no just settlement was possible ; contracted, as they 
urged, under exorbitant rents and in times of distress, justice demanded 
that means should be found for setting the tenant free from it. A 
clause was therefore added, by which the Government was to advance 
to the landlord half the arrears due for the bad seasons of 1878 and 
1879. With this, which was more than he could by ordinary means 
hope to recover from his tenants, he was to be satisfied. The tenants 
were to repay the sum advanced by half-yearly instalments spread 
over fifteen years, and at the end of this time a full release of all 
arrears was to be given them. The second additional clause was in- 
tended to meet the widely spread belief that many leases had been 
obtained unfairly since 1870. The action of the Court was now made 
retrospective ; power was given it to examine such leases, and to quash 
them if they proved to be unjust. The names of The Land Bill 
the three men to whom the large powers of the Land J^^fy 30," 
Court were to be entrusted were set out in the Bill; 1881 - 
they were Mr. Justice O'Hagan, Mr. Dillon, and Mr. Vernon. With 
these important alterations and some others of a less serious character, 
the third reading of the Bill was carried in the House of Commons by 
a majority of 220 against 14. Mr. ParneU and a few of his friends, 
unwilling to reject entirely what was meant for a conciliatory measure, 
yei regarding it as thoroughly inadequate, abstained from voting. 
But success in the Lower House was but half the battle; it was in 
pper Hi use, consisting practically of landlords, Land Bill in 
that the Bill was likely to be defeated. But even the Lords. 
there the recognition of the necessity of some such measure was so 

s that Lord Salisbury, the leader of the Opposition, while heaping 
unmitigated censure upon the Bill, advised his followers not to reject 
it, but to use their ingenuity in changing it during Committee. His 
advice was taken, and the Bill was read a second time without division. 
Iu Committee the wrecking process began. On several very im- 

int points the decisions of the House of Commons were reversed. 

method of calculating the " fair rent," the classes to whom the 
provisions of the Bill were to apply, the extent in the matter of time 
of the jurisdiction of the Court, and the diflicult question of arrears, 

all subjected to hostile amendments. Lord Salisbury BUCCeeded 
in introducing a proviso that the Land Court, when engaged in settling 

nor. c 


a " fair rent," should leave out of the calculation any sum paid by the 
tenant for the "tenant right." In marking out the classes to which 
the Bill applied, the Commons had settled that the leaseholders should 
at the close of their leases enjoy the advantage secured by the Bill 
"to present tenants," and be allowed to bring their case before the 
Land Court. This extension of privilege did not meet with favour in 
the House of Lords ; an amendment was passed removing it. The 
revision of leases since 1870, and the right to break any lease obtained 
under undue influence had, as has been already said, been given to 
the Land Court. Lord Cairns found little difficulty in persuading the 
House to remove this retrospective action. With regard to arrears, 
Mr. Parnell had succeeded in carrying an amendment which allowed 
the Court, when a tenant applied for the fixing of his judicial rent, to 
stay all proceedings for recovery of arrears while the case was before 
them. The rejection of this amendment by the House of Lords was 
a very direct refusal to listen to the strongly expressed desires of the 
Irish Nationalists. Even the purchase clauses were not left untouched. 
The requirement of the Bill that the consent of three-fourths of the 
tenants must be obtained before an estate was purchased by the Court 
for resale seemed to the Lords an unnecessary restriction, and was 

When the Bill came back to the House of Commons it was 
Dispute be- evident that it had been considerably changed. The 

SSSes on the Government determined to adhere closely to the great 
Land Bin. principles of their measure, while adopting all such 

amendments as appeared to be merely verbal or technical. They 
went so far as to accept with some modifications Mr. Heneage's 
rejected amendment which the Lords had restored ; free sale was to be 
prohibited where it could be proved that the improvements on the 
property had been not only made, but maintained at the landlord's 
expense. They agreed also to make some alterations in Mr. ParnelFs 
amendment, though they insisted on reinserting it ; the limit of time 
during which proceedings for arrears might be delayed was changed 
from six months to three. Though certain small alterations were 
thus allowed, the amendments of the Lords were not generally 
accepted, and the Bill was sent back to the Upper House very much 
in its original form. A bitter dispute between the Houses seemed 
imminent, which threatened something closely approaching a deadlock. 
The Lords, or rather the majority of the Lords, found themselves in 
a dilemma. They had taken upon themselves the functions of the 
Opposition, and as a matter of party tactics were very unwilling to 


throw out the Bill, and so to hasten a Ministerial crisis. Little more 
than a year had elapsed since at the last general election the Liberals 
had been triumphantly restored to power, on the distinct understanding 
that a Bill to reform the Irish Land Law was to be introduced. After 
bo short an interval the Opposition had no wish to risk renewed 
defeat, nor were they prepared to supply a new Ministry, even if 
defeat were avoided. On the other hand, the Lords could scarcely 
with a good grace surrender amendments which they had declared to 
be "f vital importance. The position of the Government was almost 
as difficult as that of the Opposition. They might indeed withdraw 
the Bill, reintroduce it in some slightly altered form in the next 
Bession, and tight the question all over again; but, meanwhile, 
Ireland was waiting for its remedial measure. Or they might take 
the opportunity to dissolve and force on a new election; but, with 
a large majority behind them, and supported by a national verdict 
hardly a year old, it seemed undesirable again to appeal to the 

However, as neither party wished to drive matters to extremity, 
Mr. Gladstone found it possible to adopt a third and a compromise 
more Btatesmanlike course. He determined to yield effected. 
wherever it was possible to do so without seriously injuring the Bill, 
and thus to give the Lords an opportunity of withdrawing with dignity 
from their false position. The concessions which he thought it 
prudent t<> make were no doubt important. Leaseholders, for instance, 
it their leases terminated after 1941, were excluded from the action of 
the Bill; .Mr. ParnelFs clause was entirely omitted; and certain rights 
of appeal from the judgment of the Land Court were allowed. The 
concessions were, at all events, sufficient to enable Lord Salisbury, 
while still declaring his belief in the injustice of the Bill, to assert that 
the two most important points he had in view, the equality of access 
to the Court by landlord and tenant, and the exclusion of the price 
paid tbr tenant-right in fixing a ' ; fair rent," had both been obtained. 
Til.- Lords withdrew their opposition, and the Bill passed (August 22, 
1881 . 

The Government had chosen Ireland, or more correctly had been 
forced to adopt Ireland, as the field of parliamentary T 

The circumstances which had produced this fermentm' 
result had also strained to the extreme the adminis- Ireland - 
trative capacity of the Cabinet. During the whole of the spring of the 
year 1881, while the Coercion Bill was forcing its way slowly through 
Parliament, the ferment in [reland had been increasing. The trial 


of the Land Leaguers, who had been arrested in October, had ended 
in their acquittal, and the country continued to be agitated by frequent 
meetings and fiery speeches. It was in vain that Mr. Michael Davitt, 
perhaps the most dangerous of the national orators, was silenced. 
In his case there was no need to fear the acquittal of a jury ; for the 
term of his punishment for conduct during the Fenian troubles had not 
yet expired, and the language he was now using was held to be incon- 
sistent with his position as a prisoner liberated on ticket-of-leave ; he 
was therefore apprehended and detained without further trial. The 
arrest produced no good result; there was but one martyr more to 
feed with his injuries the enthusiasm of the Leaguers. Neither sex 
nor profession held aloof from the Nationalist zeal. The women of 
Ireland, under the presidency of Miss Parnell, formed themselves into 
a Ladies' Land League. The Church found a leader in Archbishop 
Croke of Cashel, and threw itself energetically into the movement in 
spite of the disapproval of the Archbishop of Dublin. 

The attempted suppression of meetings and the forcible support of 
Power of the evictions had on more than one occasion caused 
Land League. bloodshed. But after the Coercion Bill was passed, 
and when the Government entered upon the struggle armed with the 
new powers which had been entrusted to them, it was supposed that 
no difficulty would have been found in restoring order. Unfortunately 
Mr. Forster was fully persuaded that outrages would at once cease 
upon the apprehension of a few turbulent, but inconspicuous agitators ; 
and those who were first arrested as "suspects" under the new law 
were men of quite second-rate position. The power of the League 
had in fact increased so rapidly, that the assertion that "The Land 
League was the real Government of Ireland " seemed scarcely an 
exaggeration. For the moment, the voice of the illegitimate authority 
appeared to carry more weight than that of its legitimate rival. The ■ 
Land League Convention, held in Dublin in September 1881, marked 
. the climax of its power. The farmers and the priests 
Dublin, sept. were there fully represented, and, after declaring their 
1881, belief that the Land Act had been procured entirely 

by the action of the League, they placed themselves unreservedly in 
the hands of Mr. Parnell. He delivered his verdict upon the Act 
in the tone of a man who was master of the situation. He bade them 
accept it as a mere instalment, and not as the completion of their 
work. Their present duty was to watch it and to try it with test 
cases before they consented to a general adoption of its advantages. 
There was no disorder in the Convention, its conduct was self- 


restrained and constitutional. The attitude it adopted towards the 
Government was that of a rival power, which might or might not he 
satisfied with the concessions made to it. 

Such an attitude oi self-assertion, though orderly in itself, was 
certainly not calculated to check the extreme disorder with which the 
country was still full. The leaders of the League had always declared 
that they were not responsible for those outrages. Their assertion 
was probably so far true, that they did not directly Arres tofthe 
contrive them; hut that they allowed them and used leaders and 

.<•».!• l • o i l suppression of 

them for their own purposes seems certain. Such at the Land 
all events was the opinion of the Government. In Lea £ ue - 
( Ictober, speeches of bitter recrimination were exchanged between Mr. 
Gladstone and Mr. Parnell. It was intolerable to Mr. Gladstone that 
his great effort at reconciliation should be so coldly received, and be 
met with such constant recurrence of disorder. He had believed that 
the removal of a few irreconcilable and criminal agitators would have 
allowed the whole people to recognise the excellence of the Land Act, 
and that its smooth and beneficent working would have produced 
peace. He could not put up with the half-hearted and critical 
approval of Mr. Parnell, which seemed to be preventing the fair trial 
of the new system. Only a few days after Mr. Parnell's reply to 
the indignant speech of the Prime Minister, the step was taken which 
neither Mr. Gladstone nor Mr. Forster had at first regarded as neces- 
Bary. The leaders of the Land League were suddenly apprehended 
in Dublin, and placed in Kilmainham Prison (October 13, 1881). This 
active assault immediately produced active resistance; the Land 
League played its last card. An address, signed by the imprisoned 
iiers, called upon the tenants to refuse to pay any rent until their 
leaders were liberated. The Government met the address by a 
declaration of the illegality of the Land League and the suppression 
of all its branches; and it seemed as if this long-delayed blow was all 
that was necessary ; the new Land Act came at once into working ; 
the hand Court was crowded. The victory of the legitimate com- 
batant in the struggle seemed secured. 

But the policy of the Government had in reality met with no 
Agrarian outrages of the old-fashioned cha- Reig-nof 
. with the miserable incidents of mutilation of terror - 
cattle, midnight visitation of farmhouses, rick-burning, and personal 
violence, all included under the general name of "moonlighting," 
had created a reign of terror in the western districts. Bailiffs had 
been murdered in Connemara ; a lady had been shot as she sat by the 


side of her brother, an unpopular landlord. Fenian assassinations had 
occurred in Dublin itself. The arrest of Mr. Parnell and his[colleagues, 
far from allaying the storm, only rendered it more severe by withdraw- 
ing any modifying influence which the open association of the Land 
League might have exercised over the more irreconcilable secret 

The opening of the year 1882 saw no amelioration of the crisis. 
In England party spirit ran high. While the Conservative orators of 
the Opposition found no words strong enough to stigmatise the weakness 
of the executive and the u policy of public plunder," the Irish party 
were loud in their attacks upon all forms of coercion, and threatened a 
perpetuation of the present disorders unless evictions and arrears were 
handled in a very conciliatory spirit. 

Mr. Gladstone's policy was based upon the idea that his great land 
reform would have been allowed fair play and would prove a complete 
source of reconciliation, but that in the meanwhile the re-establishment 
of order was a matter of prime necessity. But both conciliation and 
coercion appeared equally ineffective. 

The solution of the difficulty was not made easier when, while the 
Salisbury pro- address at the opening of Parliament Avas still under 
SSttee o?" discussion, the House of Lords, acting on the advice 

inquiry. _ f Lord Salisbury, thought fit to appoint a committee 
with a large majority of landlords to inquire into the working of the 
Land Act. A severer blow could scarcely have been dealt at the 
Prime Minister; it was impossible that he should bear it in silence. 
lie moved and carried a resolution implying grave censure upon the 
action of the Lords. The two Houses seemed now to stand in direct 
antagonism the one to the other. Of course, the resolution was a 
roll of idle thunder ; yet it marks a real crisis in the constitutional 
development of the country. Taken in connection with the action of 
the Lords in throwing out the Compensation for Disturbance Bill, the 
appointment of a committee of inquiry marks the first determined 
step in a policy consistently pursued by the Conservative leader. From 
the time of the Eeform Bill of 1832, with scarcely a check, the power 
of the Commons had been upon the increase. History presents during 
that period an unbroken advance of the Democracy. It had found 
its voice in the House of Commons. There was every appearance 
„ _. of its continuing its triumphant course. But Lord 

nuenceoftne Salisbury had recognised that, from a constitutional 
House of Lor s. ^.^ ^ v j eWj this progress was one-sided ; there lay 
ready to hand a power sufficiently strong to check, if not to stop, the 


advancing flood, to change and modify its course, though its impulse 
could not be wholly resisted. The constitutional power of the House 
of Lords, unbroken and unquestioned, though practically much in 
abeyance, was on certain questions especially connected with property 
always at his command. The reassertion by the Lords, under Lord 
Salisbury's guidance, of their position in the constitution becomes 
henceforward a marked characteristic of political life. 

In the Lower House the opinion was gradually forcing itself upon 
the minds of all that if Mr. Gladstone's policy was to be successful, a 
move forward must be made on both its lines. There would be no 
difficulty in increasing coercion, on that point the Conservatives would 
certainly vote with the Ministry. It w T as less certain how any further 
step in conciliation could be carried. Yet on this point the mind of 
the Prime Minister w r as decided. He had already spoken in terms 
of approval of a Bill produced by Mr. Redmond, as embodying the 
wishes of the Irish so far as its clauses on arrears went. He had 
already (luring the debate on the Address gono even further, and con- 
fessed that he would hail with pleasure any legislation which tended 
to lessen the concentration of business in the hands of the Imperial 
Parliament, and had expressed his willingness to consider favourably 
any scheme of Irish self-government which left the authority of the 
Imperial Parliament uninjured. It would appear that ho was already 
dreaming of Home Piule. 

The first step in the direction of conciliation however encountered 
opposition within the Cabinet itself. The unexpected Forster'a 
release of the three members of Parliament imprisoned resignation, 
at Kiliiiaiiiham as leaders of the Land League was immediately followed 
by the resignation of Mr. Forster. A few days later Michael Davitt 
was also released, and it began to be whispered that some sort of 
compromise had been entered into with the Irish leaders, though Mr. 
Gladstone emphatically declared that the Government was acting on 
its own initiative. Mr. Forster, when explaining his resignation, laid 
much Btress on his constant advice that no bargain should ever be 
made with the Land Leaguers; only after the new powers demanded 
by Governmenl had been granted and had been proved successful, 
did he think that tho experiment of releasing the prisoners might 
have been tried. His speech was certainly open to the interpretation 
that tlnie had been some sort of bargain, and though this was again 
rmously denied, it appeared that information had reached the 
Government which led them to hope that if the arrears were treated 
in the spirit of Mr. Redmond's late Bill, Mr. fame]] and his friends, 


would find it possible to support the cause of order. The details ofi" 
this information were subsequently brought to* light during the dis- 
cussion on the Arrears Bill. 

It appeared that in the beginning of April Mr. O'Shea, the member- 
The Kiimain- f° r Clare, had been struck with the importance of the 
ham treaty. question of the arrears. He had an interview with 

Mr. Parnell, who had been temporarily released for private reasons from 
Kilmainham. Mr. Parnell had honourably kept his parole, and refused! 
to mix in any political action. He however urged Mr. O'Shea to get 
the arrears settled on the principle subsequently incorporated in the 
Bills both of Mr. Redmond and of the Government. Alluding to a 
motion of Mr. W. H. Smith, which was afterwards withdrawn, he 
pointed out that the Tories had already accepted his view with 
respect to peasant proprietors. He believed ^that the " moonlight- 
ing" was the work of small farmers threatened with eviction for 
arrears. Mr. O'Shea wrote both to the Prime Minister and to Mr. Cham- 
berlain on the 13th of April. From both he received a certain amount 
of encouragement, though no sign of any intention to make a bargain. 
A few days later he had an interview with Mr. Forster, and also with 
the prisoners in Kilmainham. He declared that in neither case, 
though he had successfully urged the necessity of the withdrawal of 
the " no rent manifesto," had any bargain for liberty been suggested. 
He had also received a letter from Mr. Parnell, and had shown it to 
Mr. Forster. The letter was a strong plea for the settlement of the 
arrears question, and the expression of the writer's belief that u if that 
question were settled upon the lines indicated, he and his colleagues 
were confident that the exertions they would be able to make 
strenuously and unremittingly would be effective in stopping outrage 
and intimidations of all kinds." The letter closed with the words, 
" The accomplishment of the programme I have sketched out to you 
would, in my judgment, be regarded by the country as a practical 
settlement of the. land question, and would, I feel sure, enable us to 
co-operate cordially for the future with the Liberal party in forwarding 
Liberal principles and measures of general reform, and that the 
Government at the end of this session would, from ths state of the 
country, feel themselves thoroughly justified in dispensing with further 
coercive measures." This letter was not satisfactory to Mr. Forster. 
It became even less so after the further explanations of Mr. O'Shea. 
According to Mr. O'Shea, it meant that "the conspiracy, which has 
been used to get up boycotting and outrages, will now be used to 
put them down," and that Mr. Parnell hoped to make use of a certain 


persoo (probably Mr. Sheridan, a released suspect), who "under 
various disguises was coming backwards and forwards from Mr. Kuan 
to the outrage mongers of the West." Much, of course, depended 
upon the use of the word "conspiracy." To Mr. Forster and to Mr. 
Parnell it had wholly different meanings. While Mr. Forster regarded 
it as implying, in complete corroboration of his own view, the com- 
plicity of the Land League in the late outrages, Mr. Parnell confined 
its meaning to an understanding among themselves of the moonlighters 
and law-breakers. Driven to violence by the fear of eviction, he 
believed that these men would under changed circumstances become 
eager for the maintenance of the law. The position was further com- 
plicated by the unfortunate omission on the part of Mr. Parnell, when 
reading his letter to the House, of the concluding words with regard 
to the co-operation with the Liberal party. An opportunity was at 
once afforded for suspicion and for an accusation of " garbling docu- 
ments." But there seems no reason to question the honesty either 
of the Irish or of the Government, or the truth of their assertion that 
there was no bargain. At the same time, it must be confessed that 
to act upon information thus clandestinely supplied, and to pursue a 
line of conduct exactly in accordance with that suggested by their 
opponents, bears a dangerous resemblance to the acceptance of a 
compact, understood, though not expressed in words. Undoubtedly 
there was room for misapprehension. Mr. Forster s interpretation of 
tlic word " conspiracy " could easily be adopted, and the transaction be 
so represented as to assume the form of an arrangement with criminals, 
by which, in exchange for liberty and for the granting of their 
demands, they were not only to put an end to their criminality, but 
to become useful party allies. Regarded by the Opposition in this 
light, the transaction became known as the Treaty of Kilmainham, 
and afforded a tine opportunity for party invective. 

Ireland was as usual the victim of party government. It has 
always proved impossible to carry out consistently any 

experiment in the presence of bitter Parliamentary victim of party 
opposition. Every delay in the realisation of the eovernmexit - 
expected result, every trip however slight on the part of the 
Administration, is at once taken up by the Opposition; and experi- 
ment, which in politics as in other matters requires cool patience and 
■rsevering disregard of first and immaterial results, is rendered 
impossible. The best-intentioned Government is driven to imperfect 
Bhifta and petty improvements, which produce little else than increased 


In the present instance it was inevitable that the attempt to come 
to terms with the Irish Parliamentary party should excite angry 
passion, for an event had occurred in Dublin which might well upset 
the equanimity even of the most phlegmatic politician. 

It was generally understood that Lord Frederick Cavendish, who 
Murder of Lord succee ded Mr. Forster as Irish Secretary, was to be 
Frederick the exponent of the modified policy of the Government ; 

Cavendish. . T r , _r , „ 

repression was hencetorward to be repression of outrage, 
and not of political opinion. Yet this messenger of peace had scarcely 
set foot in the island, on Saturday the 6th of May, when as he and 
the Under Secretary, Mr. Burke, were quietly walking through Phoenix 
Park they were attacked by four ruffians and stabbed to death. The 
assassins escaped without detection. Seldom has any event so moved 
the public mind. The sudden and unexpected character of the crime, 
the popularity of the victims, the bitter irony of the situation, excited 
an unprecedented feeling of anger and sympathy. The few hours 
however that intervened before Parliament assembled on the Monday 
evening allowed time for the country to recover somewhat from the 
shock. There was no undignified outbreak of anger in the House, 
but Government accepted the lesson of the terrible crime, and setting 
aside all other measures however pressing proceeded at once with 
its "Prevention of Crimes Bill." 

This Bill, introduced by Sir William Harcourt on the following 
Prevention of day, was undoubtedly very stringent in its character, 
crimes Bill. As j ur ies could not be trusted, special tribunals consist- 

ing of three judges were to be appointed by the Lord Lieutenant ; the 
police were to have the right of search in proclaimed districts by night 
and day; the Alien Act was to be so modified as to allow of the 
immediate arrest of suspicious strangers ; and two stipendiary magis- 
trates were to be authorised to exercise summary jurisdiction in cases 
of secret societies, of assaults on the police, or of intimidation. The 
Act was to be in force for three years. 

Side by side with this measure, and pressed forward with the same 
haste, was the Arrears Bill, introduced by Mr. Glad- 

ArrGcirs Bill 

stone on the 15th of May. It was practically a repro- 
duction of the clauses with regard to arrears in Mr. Redmond's Bill. The 
arrangement was to be compulsory in all cases where inability to pay 
the arrears could be proved, where the holding was under £30 a year, 
and where the last year's rent had been paid. In such cases the 
State would make a free gift of half the arrears, and the remainder 
would then be cancelled. The £2,000,000 which would probably be 


required to give the tenants this free start was to be Bupplied chiefly 
from the Irish Church Fund, and the residue from a special Parlia- 
mentary grant. 

t There was enough in these two Bills to afford opportunity .fur a 
lengthened and bitter opposition. The Irish party would accept 
nothing short of conciliation without coercion, and subjected each 
clause of the Prevention of Crimes Bill to every sort of opposition 
which the forms of the House allowed. It was not till after a sitting 
of thirty hours, and the suspension of nearly all the Irish members, 
that the clause with respect to the assessment of damages in the 
case of outrage was got through the House. And crimes Bin 
only by the application of the new rules of urgency carried, July 12. 
was the Bill ultimately read the third time. It became law on the 
12th of July. 

The passage of the Arrears Bill produced no such striking incident, 
yet every point of objection was taken by the Conservatives. The 
evil of saddling the Consolidated Fund with a fresh charge, the 
advantages of a loan rather than a free gift to the tenants, of voluntary 
rather than compulsory arrangements, of a wholly new peasant pro- 
prietary rather than the perpetuation of the existing tenants, the 
1 \ at ion of the breach already made in the laws of political 
economy, the wickedness of teaching the Irish that outrages produced 
Concessions, aggravated by the crowning crime of the Kilmainham 
treaty, were each in turn urged against the Bill. The Government however firm, and strong in numbers got their measure through 
the House on the 21st of July without any serious alteration. 

Before it became law, difficulties arose between the two Houses 
similar to those which had marked the preceding year. Arrears Bill in 
Amendments were carried in the House of Lords which the Lords. 
threatened to completely destroy its value. Lord Salisbury chose for 
his first objection its compulsory character, and proposed that the 
landlord should be free to refuse to compound for his arrears. This 
amendment virtually put into the hands of the landlord the power of 
limiting the efforts of the State to relieve the suffering tenants. His 
Becond amendment was to the effect that if a tenant sold his tenant 
right, the arrears which by the Bill would have been lost to the land- 
lord should be a first charge upon the price received. In other words, 
there was to be no complete wiping out of arrears. 

It was impossible to accept these amendments; yet the crisis, 
considering the late events in Ireland, was so severe that it was 
equally impossible that the Lords should force a quarrel between the 


Houses. Such a quarrel would have led to the dropping of the Bill, 
and even the Conservatives felt that this would be disastrous. Some 
slight concessions, therefore, from Mr. Gladstone proved sufficient. 
He introduced the necessity of a mutual notice of ten days between 
landlord and tenant before a case was brought into Court; and he 
accepted the amendment with regard to the sale of tenant right, 
though confining its application to seven years, and limiting the amount 
of arrears to be paid to half the value of the tenant right. These and 
some other small concessions satisfied the Lords, with the exception of 
Lord Salisbury; but, finding the feeling against renewed opposition 
too strong to be resisted, the leader of the Opposition declared that, 
although his objections were as strong as ever, he would not divide 
the House. The Arrears Bill received the royal assent on the 18th 
of August. 

The release of the political prisoners and the changes in the Irish 
executive were regarded, at all events by the opponents of the Ministry, 
as a new departure and a change of policy. In seeking for its cause, 
party perversity was gratified by finding it in a scandalous treaty with 
outrage-mongers. Yet a more simple explanation was ready to hand. 
There was no new policy, and any change in the method of carrying 
out what had all along been the Government's object — the simultaneous 
suppression of outrage and conciliation of Irish feeling — was quite in 
accordance with the character of the Prime Minister. .More than 
once Mr. Gladstone had the greatness to acknowledge 

Review of . 

Forster's Irish failure, and to attempt, not always with the happiest 
results, to retrace his steps. And there can be little 
question that the government of Ireland under Mr. Forster had 
proved a failure. Few statesmen of modern time have suffered from 
so unjust a load of obloquy. To few have motives more utterly 
abhorrent to his real character been attributed ; yet as Secretary of 
Ireland he had unquestionably failed. A man of gentle and affectionate 
feeling, he was systematically charged with cruelty. With an anxious 
desire to ameliorate the condition of Ireland and to treat the country 
with absolute justice, he became the object of the bitterest invective, 
and was regarded by the leaders of the Irish party as a tyrannical 
oppressor. From what is known of his character and aims, it appears 
far more probable that the cause of his failure was to be found in the 
twofold and almost contradictory points of view from which he faced 
the Irish question. The main charge against him, apart from what were 
merely expressions of party malevolence, was that everything he did in 
the way of repression was done too late. He entered upon office with 

1882] MR. FORSTER 29 

a Btrong belief that lie had hut to lay his hands on a certain number 
v( irreconcilable hut somewhat insignificant foes to allow Irishmen to 
accept even with gratitude the offered measures of reconciliation. 
II' 1 could n)t believe that his colleagues in Parliament would lend 
themselves to criminal outrage. It was under the influence of this 
feeling that he obtained the Protection Act with its strange uncon- 
stitutional peculiarities. It was under the same influence that he 
employed it tor months only against insignificant persons. But if he 
bad a tenderness for the Irish, he had an unusually strong detestation 
of what appeared to him the mean and cowardly methods of intimida- 
tion which were rite in the country. And as by degrees it was forced 
upon his mind that the Land League and the outrages were connected, 
if net ostensibly yet in very fell reality, his hatred of oppression blazed 
out and got the better, at all events in expression, of the really kindly 
feeling which underlay it. There thus arose a widespread belief that 
of the two lines of policy pursued by Government, he was answ r erable 
f>r that which was coercive, while conciliation was attributed to Mr. 
Gladstone. As a matter of fact, he took a very large share both in 
the arrangement of the Land Act and of the subsequent Arrears Act ; 
and throughout his letters and private utterances abundant proof is 
to be found that his spirit was well-nigh broken by the necessity 
under which, as he believed, he lay of having recourse to methods 
of an arbitrary character. 

There is some difficulty in deciding the exact cause of his resig- 
nation. In all probability it was what appeared to him the inexcus- 
able laxity of the Government in releasing the Kilmainham prisoners 
without sufficient security for their good behaviour. He said after- 
wards that it was because he was not furnished with more extensive 
powers; but there must have been some misunderstanding here, 
1- he himself had drafted the Crimes Bill which had been placed 
before the Cabinet, and which with very slight alteration was 
introduced into Parliament. 

After the assassination of Lord Frederick Cavendish, Mr. Trevelyan 
accepted the position of Chief Secretary, under Lord 
Spencer, the new Lord Lieutenant, both of them being asinsh 
era of the Cabinet. Change of policy in any ecret ary. 
■ sense there was none under this change of personnel. Con- 
ciliation and enforcement of order going hand-in-hand remained, as 
before, the policy of the Government. But no doubt there was a 
modification of method. Armed with the new Crimes Act, a law 
of unusual stringency, and perhaps warned by the late terrible 


experience, the executive showed a firmer front to agrarian excesses. 
Less determined than Mr. Forster to find close connection between the 
League and outrage, Mr. Trevelyan was able to give better effect to 
conciliatory measures. Not that there was any immediate cessation 
either of agitation or of outrage. On the contrary, the year was 
marked by a terrible succession of murders. In June, in two different 
places, land agents were shot from behind loopholed walls. In August 
a crime of unparalleled magnitude took place at Maamtrasna; a 
whole family of Joyces, six in number, were ruthlessly murdered 
because it was believed that they had some knowledge of the per- 
petrators of several preceding murders in that district. Even so late 
in the year as November an attempt was made to assassinate Mr. 
Justice Lawson in Dublin, and a Mr. Field was stabbed outside his 
own house. But, either by an improvement in the police organisation 
or from some other cause, the entire impunity of the murderers had 
disappeared. It is true that the June murderers were not discovered, 
but the perpetrators of the crime at Maamtrasna were convicted and 
condemned to death, as were also several other murderers who had 
hitherto escaped detection. 

In the political world also there was no immediate sign of any 
. . . relaxation of irritation. Following the example of 

National ° x 

League, Oct. previous agitators, the leaders of the Irish party found 
means to evade the suppression of the Land League. 
A great conference was held in October in Dublin, and there upon the 
ruins of the old Land League a new National League was called into 
existence. Its objects, as put forth by Mr. Parnell, were "national 
self-government, Land Law reform, local self-government, extension 
of the Parliamentary and municipal franchises, and the development 
and encouragement of the labour and industrial interests of Ireland." 
It was thought that the attempt to form such a League would bring to 
light, or perhaps cause, a breach in the Irish National party. It was 
known that Mr. Davitt by no means agreed with Mr. Parnell on the 
question of land. He had adopted the theories of Mr. Henry George, 
and was entirely in favour of the nationalisation of land, while the 
nominal leader of the party would have been contented with the 
establishment of a large peasant proprietary. And in fact in America 
a split did take place. The followers of the Irish World henceforth 
spoke with some contempt of the Irish Parliamentarians. But in Ireland 
itself no such result followed, Mr. Davitt as usual subordinating his 
own views to what he regarded as the general advantage of his party. 
But although the improvement was not very marked, there was 


undoubtedly a general feeling that things were looking a little better 
under the rule of Lord Spencer and Mr. Trevelyan. The Land Court 
was fully and vigorously in action with very good results, and it was 
an encouraging symptom that the Government had been able to bring 
to trial and obtain evidence and conviction in cases of flagrant crime, 
without having had recourse to the extraordinary powers given them 
by the Crimes Act. 

But the Government had not wholly abstained from the use of 
their extraordinary powers. They had been intrusted 

Arrest of the 

with wide powers of inquiry, even in cases where no invincibies, 
definite charge could be alleged against any individual. 
The fruit of such inquiries was seen when, early in January, seventeen 
men were suddenly apprehended in Dublin, among them a Town 
Councillor of the name of James Carey. They were charged with a 
conspiracy to murder, and the inquiries carried on resulted in very 
startling revelations. Chiefly on the evidence of informers, of whom 
the most prominent was James Carey, the existence of a secret society, 
composed largely of ex-Fenians and called "the Invincibies," was 
brought to light. It was arranged with all the precautions usual in such 
societies, no member of it knew the names of the other members, and 
orders were dealt out by a mysterious person known as " No. 1." It 
became clear that during the whole of the last year the chief officials, 
and especially Mr. Forster himself, had been marked out for assassina- 
tion, and had only escaped by strange accidental miscalculations. In 
the same way the perpetrators of several of the late outrages were 
brought to light; and at length, upon the evidence of Carey, the 
whole details of the assassination of Lord Frederick Cavendish were 
( Btablished. The murderers were sent to the gallows. The informer, 
win 1 by his ow r n confession was the principal instigator of the deed, 
saved his life for the moment, only to meet punishment at the hands 
of his late confederates. He was murdered before the end of the year 
in South Africa, where he was seeking safety. 

Curiosity is naturally roused by the unfolding of secret schemes of 
assassination, but at this time the public interest was chiefly excited 
by the expectation that the inquiries in Dublin would throw light 
on the connection between the Land League and outrage. The 
evidence of the informers however failed to implicate the League 
as an organisation in any criminal action. There were, on the 
contrary, signs that the Invincibies thoroughly despised the Parlia- 
mentary methods of the Irish party. But the names of certain in- 
dividual members of the League had been mentioned by the witnesses; 


and those who had already made up their minds upon the question 
saw in the evidence produced at the trial fresh proof in support 
of their opinion. This view found expression in a vehement attack 
in Parliament by Mr. Forster on Mr. Parnell in February 1883. 
The Dublin trials were still going on when Parliament met, and for 
Forster's eleven nights the Government had to stand upon the 

p P am C en?| a eb. St defensive as the Address was debated. The chief topics 
1883 - were the events in Ireland, and the ex-Secretary took the 

opportunity of delivering a straightforward and scathing assault upon 
the Irish leader, charging him in plain words, not indeed with having 
directly planned or perpetrated outrages, but with having connived at 
them, and with having never used his great influence to prevent them. 
Mr. ParnelPs reply was not satisfactory. He avoided the real point at 
issue, and confined himself to bitter recrimination. The effect was to 
excite in many minds a confirmed belief in Mr. Forster's charges. In 
Ireland itself, as was to be expected, the effect was different. It 
merely increased the confidence felt in the national leader, and the 
admiration which he excited. From henceforth he assumed an attitude 
of uncompromising hatred to the Ministry, rejecting all idea of con- 
ciliation, and declaring that by means of the Irish vote he held the 
fate of English parties in his hand. Never had Mr. Parnell been 
more powerful. Even the voice of the Church wassraised against him 
in vain. On presenting him with a great national testimonial (December 
11, 1883), his friends found opportunity to declare the futility of the 
interference of Rome ; and, before the year was over, even the sacred 
territory of Ulster, so long the home of Orange influence, was invaded, 
and Mr. Parnell's chief lieutenant, Mr. Healy, succeeded in capturing 
a vacant seat at Monaghan. During the remainder of Mr. Gladstone's 
tenure of office, although Ireland was far from being in an orderly 
or satisfactory condition, there was a lull in the extreme forms of 

The ever-present and absorbing difficulties of the Irish question 
„ „, . had arisen somewhat unexpectedly, and were the more 

Mr. Glad- . * J - \ 

stone's foreign unwelcome because the hands of Government were 
already fully occupied with several critical questions of 
foreign policy. It was on foreign policy that they had chiefly attacked 
their predecessors ; and it was the reaction against the too exclusive 
attention which Lord Beaconsfield had given to the extension of English 
prestige which had been the primary cause of the fall of his Govern- 
ment. Mr. Gladstone, if he was to gratify his more fervid supporters, 
was almost bound to modify what they had again and again declared 


to be the ill-judged imperialism of the late Ministry. Yet some 
measure of continuity is absolutely accessary in transacting business 
with foreign countries; nor indeed do the traditions of party govern- 
ment in England allow, upon every change of Ministry, of a reversal 
of the course of foreign policy, or even of any serious interference with 
it. It is only slowly and unostentatiously that a desired change of 
policy can be introduced. Mr. Gladstone's Government could act 
only within the limits of this restriction. 

In Afghanistan alone was any entire change of policy visible. 
Already in an earlier chapter (vol. iv., page 544) the history of the 
course of events has been so far forestalled that there is no need to 
pursue the subject further. All idea of occupying any part of the 
country, or advancing the frontier beyond the limits of the moun- 
tains, or of establishing a permanent protectorate, was abandoned; 
and after some difficulty, some disaster, and some stirring deeds of 
arms, it was found possible to withdraw the English troops, to allow 
the authority of the Ameer, Abdurahman, to be established, and to 
rely on the friendship of an independent State, rather than on the 
immediate exercise of English authority, for security against the 
advance of encroaching Powers. 

There still remained three questions of considerable difficulty. 
While the Foreign Office found its hands full, with the attempt to 
bring the Eastern question to a satisfactory conclusion, and with the 
delicate diplomacy rendered necessary by international intervention in 
Egypt, the Colonial Office was met by ever-increasing difficulties in 
South Africa. In all these cases the Government at first accepted the 
of things as they found it. With the Turkish question they were 
fairly successful. In Egypt and in South Africa events happened 
which continued to occupy their attention for sonic years; and the 
policy they pursued in handling these events was very different, and 
ltd to very different results. 

'I'll.- Treaty of Berlin, the consummation of the foreign policy of 

tin' late Ministry, had excited hitter invectives from the „ 

' . Enforcement of 

Liberal party; hut there were certain parts oi that the Treaty of 

Treaty with which they heartily agreed. They had, 
indeed, no sympathy with the Anglo-Turkish agreement, in so far 
aa it included the acquisition by England of territory in the East 
or the guarantee of Turkish dominions. But they regarded as of the 
importance the conditions which were appended to these engage- 
ments, and the increased responsibility for good government which 
the} laid upon the Porte. They had no idea of upholding a one-sided 



bargain. If they were bound by national honour to maintain agree- 
ments entered into by their predecessors, they were also bound to 
insist on the fulfilment of the accompanying stipulations. It thus 
became a primary object of their policy to compel Turkey to throw 
aside its dilatory disregard of the duties laid upon it by the Berlin 
Treaty. The instrument by which they intended to apply coercion to 
Turkey was the united voice of Europe. 

The Treaty had required improved government in Armenia, and 
Mr. Goschen's considerable cessions of territory both to Montenegro 
mission. , am \ Greece; but there was no sign that the Porte 
was likely to fulfil its duties in any of these respects. In order to 
hasten its action, it was thought desirable to send out an ambassador 
of more than common authority. The mission was entrusted to Mr. 
Goschen. Though he had found himself debarred from joining the 
Ministry by his scruples with regard to the extension of the franchise 
to the agricultural labourer, which was a part of the Government 
programme, there was no reason why his great ability should be 
allowed to rust in idleness. A fitting employment was found for 
him as Envoy Extraordinary at Constantinople. None of the stipu- 
lations of the Treaty had been properly earned out. There was no 
improvement in the general administration. The Kurds were still 
raiding in Armenia, and destroying villages by the hundred. The 
promised gendarmerie had not been created. Brigandage was rife. 
As to the Greek frontier, no sort of agreement seemed likely to be 
arrived at ; while all mention of withdrawal from the ceded districts in 
the neighbourhood of Montenegro encountered bitter opposition from 
the Mahomedan Albanians, certainly not without the connivance of the 
Porte. Mr. Goschen's instructions were to press upon the Sultan, 
without open threat, yet with a distinct indication that there was 
something behind, the absolute necessity of putting an end to his pro- 
crastination. This "something" was the European concert, which 
was beginning at length to become a reality. 

A conference was held at Berlin, and the representatives of the 
Powers found themselves so far in agreement as to be 

Action of the . . . . °. 

European able to join m an identic Note, informing Turkey that 

their object in assembling in conference was to deter- 
mine finally the proper line of frontier between Turkey and Greece. 
They proceeded to carry out their work harmoniously; and in July 
the frontier on which they had agreed was marked out and commu- 
nicated to the Porte. It was also found possible to maintain unbroken 
the concerted action of Europe on the question of the cessions to be 


made to Montenegro, although this question was beset with greater 
difficulties. The rulers of Turkey were now, as always, very loath 
to admit the interference of Europe; and it cannot be denied that 
there was much weight in the excuses urged by them to cover their 
determination to resist it as long as possible. It was only natural that 
they should resent being deprived, entirely without their sanction, of 
considerable portions of their territory. The opposition of the Alba- 
nians was also a very real obstacle to the completion of the cessions; 
the semi-independent tribes had formed themselves into a national 
league, numerous and warlike enough to become very formidable. 
With some difficulty the conflicting views of the European Powers 
were brought into agreement by the substitution of the district of 
Dulcigno for the districts mentioned in the Treaty of Berlin, and the 
Porte was invited to join the Powers in giving effect to the treaty thus 
modified. The reply, given in August, was not satisfactory. Turkey 
consented in principle to the cession of Dulcigno, but declined to join 
in any forcible attempt to coerce its Albanian subjects. 

In order to bring matters to a point, it was thought necessary that 
a great combined naval demonstration should be Tnenavai 
Organised. Restricted by a declaration of disinterested- demonstration. 
ness, which now formed the usual initial step in such operations, the 
joint Bee1 assembled in September 1881, under the command of Sir 
Beauchamp Seymour. It did not at first produce the expected result, 
for a change of ministry in Constantinople placed in office men still 
more determined to resist than their predecessors had been. So 
ineffective indeed did the demonstration appear, that Lord Salisbury 
allowed himself to say oi it, that " if six washing-tubs with the flags 
of the different nations had been sent to the Adriatic, they would have 
produced as much effect. " Nor was he much exaggerating the facts. 
When the English admiral negotiated with the Prince of Montenegro 
for an advance of his troops upon the disputed provinces, in co- 
operation with the fleet, he was told that the Prince not unnaturally 
declined t»> risk a Turkish war without a guarantee of assistance from 
the European Powers. Put when the admiral applied to the Powers, 
he found that not one of them was willing to second any active 
measure. The idle threat of the combined fleet only served to 
strengthen the hands of the Porte, and called forth a vigorous reply, in 
which the Sultan assumed a dignified tone of injured innocence, and 
demanded his right to exercise his sovereignty unfettered on all the 
points at issue. 

The diplomacy ^\' Europe, threatening but afraid to strike, seemed 


to have been entirely abortive. Yet most unexpectedly within a week 
an entire change occurred. The reason is not clear. It may have 
been a threat on the part of England to sequestrate the revenues of 
Smyrna and other ports. It may have been the promise of France 
and Germany that if Dulcigno was yielded the more disastrous effects 
to be apprehended from the naval demonstration might be avoided. 
At all events, on the 26th of November the Turkish general, Dervish 
Pasha, having fought his way into Dulcigno, surrendered it to 
Montenegro ; and the object of the demonstration having been thus 
obtained, the combined fleet at once dispersed. 

Still more complicated was the solution of the difficulty with Greece. 
L „ There were three parties in the quarrel. The Powers 

Settlement of L x 

Greek demanded the new modified frontier settled by the 

Berlin Conference ; Turkey insisted on a still more 
restricted cession ; Greece demanded the performance in full of the 
Berlin Treaty. That little country had assumed a most warlike 
attitude. The Minister, Tricoupis, too peaceful in his tendencies to 
suit the popular feeling, was driven from office, and Coumoundouros 
put in his place. To avoid war seemed impossible. Both Turkey and 
Greece were rapidly collecting troops on the frontier; an attempted 
arbitration was rejected. It seemed as though the Powers would be 
called upon either to sit idly by while war was waged, or to use their 
strength to coerce Greece in whose interest they were supposed to be 
acting. At length however the Conference of Ambassadors, which 
continued to sit at Constantinople in constant negotiation with the 
Porte, succeeded, under the lead of Mr. Goschen and the German am- 
bassador, in marking out a new frontier by which the whole of Thessaly 
and a portion of Epirus was ceded to Greece ; while the great bone of 
contention, the fortress of Janina, was left to Turkey. It was then 
formally intimated to Greece that unless this frontier was accepted, no 
assistance could be expected from Europe. The Greek Cabinet 
yielded to this pressure, but only under protest. The way was 
further cleared by a complete victory of Dervish Pasha, which broke 
up the formidable Albanian League. A Convention was at length 
signed, and by November Greece occupied its newly acquired 
territory. Thus, in spite of a long delay, in spite of the Opposition 
jeers which had constantly mocked the slow course of their diplomacy, 
the Ministry succeeded in making good their policy. The European 
concert remained unbroken ; war had been avoided ; and, though 
with some important modification, the stipulations of the Berlin Treaty 
had been enforced. 

1881] EGYPT 37 

The attitude of the Porte in the Egyptian difficulties, which arose 

immediately afterwards, was the natural result of the Difficulties in 
means by which this success had been reached. There E eypt- 
is no difficulty under the circumstances in understanding the desire 
of the Porte to assert its sovereignty in Egypt, its extreme un- 
willingness to admit European interference, and its lukewarmncss in 
using its influence and arms for the purpose of restoring order. No 
less natural was the wish of Lord Granville and the English Cabinet 
to restore the self-respect of the Turkish Government, and, by ac- 
knowledging and making use both of its influence and arms in Egypt, 
to attempt to remove the soreness caused by the late events. 

The Conservative Government had left its successor a difficult 
problem in Egypt. The great financial interests at stake had induced 
the European Powers to interfere in the country, to restrain the wild 
misgovernment and spendthrift extravagance of Ismail. It had how- 
ever been generally acknowledged that France, as the great Mediter- 
ranean Power with an Egyptian connection of long standing, and 
England, as the ruler of India, had more than mere financial interests 
at stake in the well-being of Egypt. An agreement had been made by 
which a joint control exercised by France and England had been 
established. Ismail having been removed from the throne in June 
1879, it was under this dual superintendence that his son Tcwfik was 
called upon to govern his dominions. There was a strong feeling in 
England in favour of the assumption of some more complete command 
in the country, either by direct annexation or under some form of 
protectorate ; but, on the other hand, there was among a large section 
of the Liberals a dislike to any addition to the responsibilities of the 
empire. It was between these two extremes of party feeling that the 
new Ministry had to steer their way. They accepted at first, in this 
as in other cases, the action of their predecessors. But they refused 
to go a step beyond it. Their efforts were directed to honest co- 
operation with France, in carrying out a work intrusted to them by 
the European Powers. This work they regarded as the supervision 
of the Egyptian Government. They would listen to no suggestion 
<>f taking any part of that Government upon themselves. It is 
obvious that the line they adopted was in the last degree critical. 
Differences <>f opinion might at any moment arise between them- 
Belves and their French colleagues: the direction of a Government 
by moral persuasion, and without the use of force, is likely either to 
be ineffective it by gradual steps to lose its purely persuasive character. 
It t.M.k nearly the whole of their tenure of power, a period of checkered 


fortune, of much disaster and much mismanagement, to clear away 
these difficulties and to place England in a position to carry out 
successfully its task of Egyptian regeneration. 

As has been said, it was upon financial grounds that Europe had 
„. . , interfered. Before any reforms in administration or 

Financial . J . . 

reforms in justice could be earned out, something like equilibrium 

had to be established between the revenue and the 
expenses. The first great step in this direction was made when the 
International Commission of Liquidation was appointed in April 1880, 
and when, on its report in July, the Law of Liquidation was pro- 
mulgated. This law, which, although it has been modified, is still 
the basis of the financial arrangements of Egypt, was virtually a com- 
position on the part of Egypt with its creditors on terms dictated by 
the great Powers. The essential principle of the arrangement was 
the division of the revenue into two portions, one of which was to be 
paid to the International Commission of the. debt, or, as it was called, 
the " Caisse de la dette ; " the other was devoted to the expense of 
the administration. The various debts were consolidated under four 
heads, and the interest payable on them to the bondholders was limited 
to a sum which it was conceived that Egypt could afford to pay. The 
amount to be spent on administration was also limited to what was 
regarded as the proper expenditure of the country. Should there be a 
surplus in the receipts of the Caisse, the Government had no right to share 
it; should there be a surplus in the administrative revenue, the Caisse 
had certain claims upon it. This law was a long step forward, and 
restored the financial solvency of the country. At the same time, the 
limit set to expenditure, and the claims of the Caisse (an international 
body), raised an obstacle in the way of large reforms, and placed the 
country in a very dependent position with regard to the Powers of 
Europe. This want of independence was still further increased by 
the agreements between Turkey and the various European States, 
known as "The Capitulations; 11 for the capitulations were held to 
apply to Egypt as a part of the Turkish Empire. 

Originally privileges necessary for the safety of foreigners in the 
The"Capituia- presence of a powerful and unscrupulous Government, 
tions." the Capitulations had become, as the balance of power 

changed, serious obstacles in the way of administrative reformation. 
The exemption of foreigners from taxation, and the necessity of the 
co-operation of the Consuls in all actions of the police with respect 
to foreigners, were formidable interferences with the natural rights of 
an independent nation. It is not unreasonable to suppose that, in 

1881] AH ASPS REVOLT 39 

spite of tlic improvement in their financial position, in spite of 
important reforms in the methods of collecting the taxes, and the 
substitution of ordinary European processes for the violence of 
unchecked despotism, intelligent Egyptians might feel bitterly the 
dependence in which they wore placed. And no doubt there was a 
party anion-- the statesmen and wealthier inhabitants which saw with 
great dislike the constant interference and employment in high places 
of foreign officials. It was not however from such men as these, but 
from the leaders of the army, that the first interruption to what 
appeared to be the successful course of the new administrative 
arrangements came. 

The army, like the State, was suffering from outside interference ; 
the higher places were rilled by Turks and Circassians ; the economical 
efforts of the Dual Control had driven many officers into enforced 
retirement. At all events the military agitators put themselves 
forward and were for the time regarded as the leaders of a national 
party; but the movement rapidly degenerated, and in the hands of 
ignorant soldiers became an anarchical attack upon all that was best 
and most progressive in the country, and finally assumed the form of 
an intolerant assault upon Christianity in favour of Moha medanis m. 
Early in the year 1881, and again in July, a spirit of insubordination 
showed itself among the superior officers of the Egyptian army. 
Various changes in the Ministry were made with a view of satisfying 
them, but the discontent continued to smoulder until, in September, 
several regiments broke out into open revolt under the Arabi's revolt, 
leadership of Ahmed Arabi. Arabi was one of the 1881 - 
colonels who had been implicated in the earlier disorders, and there 
seems little doubt that it was the belief that the Khedive and his 
Ministers continued to cherish a determination to wreak their vengeance 
on him which drove him and his followers to their violent courses. 
Though he at first acted courageously enough, Tewlik's heart failed 
him at the critical moment, when he found himself surrounded by 
aimed mutineers. lie bent to the storm, and dismissed his Minister, 
Ilia/. Pasha, from office. With much reluctance Cherif Pasha, the 
Minister demanded by the insurgents, accepted the vacant position, 
charging himself with the duty of establishing a constitution, and at 
tli** same time increasing the army from 12,000 to 18,000. lie 
insisted, on the other side, upon the withdrawal of the military chiefs 
from Cairo, and declared his intention of maintaining all international 
engagements, including the Dual ( lontrol. The conditions were fulfilled. 
The Chamber of Delegates was summoned in December, Arabi and his 


confederates withdrew for awhile from Cairo. Probably Cberif had 
looked for the support of the Chamber in assisting him to establish 
a really national movement. But the assembled Delegates not un- 
reasonably regarded as useless a constitution which deprived them of all 
financial power. They demanded for themselves the right of drawing 
up the Budget. The political agents of the two predominant European 
Powers considered this a fatal attack upon the position of the Dual Con- 
trol, to the maintenance of which Cherif was pledged. An ill-judged 
Note, communicated by France and England, raised in the mind of the 
Egyptians the idea that active interference was contemplated; its 
effect was the consolidation of the National party and the determination 
of the Delegates to cling to what they regarded as their financial 
rights. It was in vain that Cherif admitted Arabi himself to his 
Ministry as Under Secretary of War ; the opposition was too strong 
for him, and, honourably anxious to maintain the pledge he had given 
to the Powers, Cherif found it necessary to resign. A Ministry in 
which Arabi held the post of Minister of War was called to office under 
Mahmoud Sami, a man who shared Arabi's views. The army and 
the extreme Nationalists thus secured a complete triumph. 

But the movement had now entered upon a downward course ; 
for there are abundant signs that Arabi was acting with support from 
Constantinople, while one of the first objects of the real National party 
had been the exclusion of Turkish influence from Egypt. Nor were 
proofs wanting of the disastrous results of the military triumph. 
Anarchy began to spread throughout the country, and the position of 
the European and Christian population became in the last degree 

Such was the state of affairs which the English Government was 
, called upon to face. Their policy with respect to Egypt 

Egyptian was of course subjected to their general foreign policy. 

Their chief objects at this time were the maintenance 
of the European concert, which they regarded as the best machinery 
for the settlement of international complications, and within this, and 
of the first importance, the maintenance of friendship with France. 
As far therefore as Egypt was concerned, they felt it undesirable to 
act in any way except as the agent of the European Powers, or to 
thwart the wishes of France if it could possibly be avoided. The joint 
control, the outcome of a compromise between the interests of France 
and England, had therefore to be carefully maintained ; and during 
the first months of the new Ministry the two countries had worked 
hand in hand with considerable success. The Arabist movement now 


threatened to disturb this amicable arrangement. An agitation which 
could assume with so much plausibility the title of a Nationalist move- 
ment could not but appeal to the sympathies of the English Liberals ; 
while the French, who were credited (and probably correctly) with less 
interest in the well-being of Egypt than in the advantage of French 
bondholders, were eager for the suppression of a disturbance which 
threatened financial prosperity. Though the agents of both Powers 
011 the spot seemed to hope that the quarrel between the Chamber of 
Delegates and Cherif might be regarded as a purely constitutional 
struggle, calling for no outside interference, Gambetta, who had lately 
taken up the reins of oflice in France, made up his mind that the 
action of the Chamber was leading to ruin, and that strong measures 
wore necessary to check it. lie urged upon the English Ministry the 
presentation of a joint Note, assuring the Khedive that he might 
" trust to the united efforts" of England and France " to withstand 
the causes of the external or internal complications threatening the 
existing regime in Egypt." Such a Note was not in accordance with 
the avowed policy of England. In issuing it the Ministry went beyond 
their mandate from Europe ; they took a step which might easily cause 
difficulties with other Powers, and which was contrary to the prevalent 
reeling in favour of assuming as little responsibility as possible in the 
direct government of Egypt. After some hesitation ^however the 
Government yielded to their fear of breaking with France, and 
the joint Note drafted by Gambetta was sent to the Khedive, with the 
disastrous results already mentioned. 

It also gave an opportunity to the Sultan to protest against the 
unauthorised action of the two Powers in a matter _ 

... 111 i 1 • <-, . m i Rlft between 

which properly belonged to him as Sovereign. The English and 
protest was disregarded by Gambetta; but it was not, French p°"cy. 
apparently, without its effect on Lord Granville, for in January he 
wrote to Lord Lyons that he wished to maintain the rights of 
Bovereigo and vassal as between the Sultan and the Khedive, and 
that if armed intervention were necessary. Turkish intervention, under 
close restrictions, would be the most desirable form. The idea of 
restoring order by the interposition of Turkey was however quite 
Contrary to the views of France; affairs in Tunis had lately strained 
almost to extremity its good relations with the Porte. The sudden 
fall of Gambetta's Ministry (January 27, 1882) somewhat altered the 
position; the desire for active intervention disappeared, and the 
dread of Turkish intervention became even stronger. A rift had 
obviously opened between the policy of England and France. 


Meanwhile events in Eg}-pt were hastening onward. A serious 
Arabfs return incident occurred in May 1882, leading to a breach 
topowar. between the Khedive and his Ministers. A large 

number of officers had been rewarded for their revolutionary services 
by promotion, but many Circassians had been omitted from the list of 
the favoured. They were now accused of having formed a conspiracy 
to put Arabi to death. Some fifty were apprehended. Tried in 
secret, and undefended, the greater part of them were exiled for life. 
It is said that this was but the beginning of a general proscription, and 
that 300 other names had been already added to the list of victims. 
The Khedive commuted the sentences of the Circassian officers, and 
there can be little question as to the rightfulness of this course. But 
there was a fatal blot in the manner in which the Khedive acted; he 
had been too evidently under the influence of the English political 
agent, who had even insisted on being present when the pardons were 
signed. This obvious interference of the foreigners produced a com- 
plete breach between the Khedive and his Ministers. On the 25th of 
May, immediately after this violent quarrel, emboldened by the arrival 
of ironclads in Alexandria, the French and English Agents, declaring 
that they acted in the name of their respective Governments, presented 
a so-called Ultimatum, demanding the exile of Arabi, with two of his 
officers, and the resignation of the Ministry. The Khedive received 
the Ultimatum without the knowledge of his Ministers. In thus act- 
ing, he had no doubt infringed the constitution. His Ministry, already 
estranged, seized the opportunity, and at once resigned (May 26). 
Great was the excitement caused by this step. From the army, from 
the Ulemas, and from the people petitions streamed in on the Khedive 
demanding the restoration of the fallen National Ministry. The 
demand, backed as it was by the army with an open threat of extreme 
violence, was irresistible. Arabi and his friends returned in triumph 
(May 27), and were absolute masters of the situation. The threat 
was no idle one, for on the 30th of May Mr. Cookson, the English 
Consul-General, had written to Lord Granville, "Alexandria is in 
■ continual danger of being stormed by the soldiery." 
Alexandria, On the 11th of June the danger became a reality. 
June n. There was a popular outbreak, in which Mr. Cookson 

was severely wounded, and more than 200 Europeans killed. It 
became necessary to take measures for the restoration of order. 

Already (May 21), in view of the possible danger to the lives of 
the Europeans, French and English ironclads had been despatched to 
Alexandria. While agreeing in this step, the French Ministry had 


made it a condition thai the Porte Bhould abstain from interference, 
but they had so far come into the views of England that they had 
waved their objection to acEuropean Conference. The invitations 
were actually issued on the 1st of .Tune, but not before Sir Edward 
Malet had tried the effecl of an appeal to Turkey. lie requested the 
Sultan to use his authority as Suzerain for the restoration of order. 
Nothing, except a European Conference, could be more distasteful to 
the Porte, which had hoped to increase its influence in Egypt by cover! 
support of Arabi. To stop his action seemed suicidal; but to be 
obliged to do so by the combined action of Europe would be worse. 
In dread therefore ol the threatened Conference, the , . , . 

. . . , Arrival of 

Porte despatched a commissioner, Dervish Pasha, who Dervish Pasha, 
readied Egypt just before the Alexandrian massacre. 
His presence produced no -nod result. lie refused to take any 
responsibility, as he was without troops, and instead of exerting his 
authority for the active suppression of disturbance, he actually allowed 
the duty of restoring order after the massacre to be placed in the hands 
of Arabi himself. It was plain that, so far from exerting any con- 
trolling influence, the Turkish suzerainty to which Lord Granville had 
trusted was a mere empty name, without influence either moral or 
physical. There seemed nothing left but the use of forcible inter- 
vention, ordered or allowed by the Conference. 

The Conference, which met at the end of June, began by passing a 
Belf-denying protocol, in which the Powers pledged themselves to aim 
at no separate advantage by their joint action. Then, declaring that 
nigral influence had failed, it requested the Sultan to supply the 
necessary force. He at once joined the Conference, from which he had 
hitherto held aloof, and accepted the proposal. But the work of the 
Conference was in fact nugatory; eveutfl had been too quick for it. 

Arabi, who had collected his troops round Alexandria, had begun 
to erect fortifications there which threatened the British „ , 

i • i i-i t -r^ • i ** , Bombardment 

fleet. Again and again the Khedive, Dervish Pasha, of Alexandria, 
and Admiral Seymour had warned him to desist. At JulyU - 
length the Admiral's patience was exhausted, and he proceeded 
July 11 to carry out his threat of bombardment. The other 
:: ships, including those of France, having already left the 
harbour, the work fell exclusively upon the English. Though Arabi's 
resistance was tinner than had ben expected, the bombardment was 
successful and the batteries were silenced. The English sailors on 
landing found that the army had been entirely withdrawn; but the 
Admiral, without troops, had no means of following up his SUC< 


Wild riot and destruction raged for several days ; the loss of life and 
property was enormous. Order was at length restored. But, beyond 
the occupation of the city, which as a matter of course had resulted 
from the bombardment, no advantage appeared to have been gained ; 
the army had not been defeated, it was still mutinous, and had to be 
reckoned with. 

The policy of non-intervention, culminating in so violent an action 
„ „ _ T _ as the bombardment of Alexandria, had no lack of bitter 

Failure of L.ord «■» 

Granville's and indignant critics. It is in truth difficult to charac- 

po lcy ' terise as a policy action which appears to have depended 

so much on the events of the moment. It would seem however that 
Lord Granville, though seduced for awhile by the eagerness of Gam- 
betta, had set before himself a line of conduct which, if open to the 
charge of weakness, was yet fairly consistent. The general drift of this 
policy was the establishment of a European Conference, at whose in- 
stigation Turkey as the Suzerain Power was to be advised to intervene 
in the cause of order. But though the policy may have been con- 
sistent in theory, it had not been consistent in practice. The abstention 
from interference had not been real ; the hand of the English agent 
had been constant^ felt. And it is impossible to acquit the English 
Government of having suffered a movement to gather strength when 
they were all along determined to destroy it, and of having ultimately 
found themselves driven to active intervention without having in any 
way prepared the means for making it effective. 

The first blow once struck however there was no hesitation. A 
vote of credit was obtained from Parliament (July 27), a portion of 
the Reserves were called out, and troops were despatched as speedily 
as possible, to what was evidently the scene of an approaching war. 
M. de Freycinet, the new French Minister, also demanded a vote of 
credit. But the opinion of France was strong against interference, the 
vote of credit was not passed, and M. de Freycinet resigned. The 
French Assembly by this action declared plainly its disinclination to 
take any further active share in the quarrel. In the hands of the 
English alone the campaign was carried out with unexpected success. 
The military organisation, as reformed by Mr. Cardwell and ably 

managed by Mr. Guilders, proved fairly efficient. Sir 
Woiseieys Garnet Wolseley was able to carry out his operations 

almost exactly in accordance with his carefully pre- 
arranged plan. With extreme secrecy, and after a feigned concen- 
tration in Aboukir Bay, he brought his troops through Port Said and 
the Suez Canal to Ismailia, where he was joined by a contingent from 


India, bringing up his forces to some 40,000 men. Making the canal 
his base, he drew Arabi away from the more fertile and Defeat of 
highly populated parts of the country, and, after a Arabi - 
Beries of skirmishes with the object of securing the fresh-water canal, 
filially defeated him at Tel-el-Kebir, September 13, 1882. The blow 
was derisive and final. Troops were at once launched in pursuit, 
Cairo was entered, and Arabi taken prisoner. His army disbanded 
itself, and the soldiers wandered off to their homes. It had been a 
brilliant piece of work. In the words of Sir Garnet Wolseley's de- 
spatch, '' the army in twenty-five days had effected a disembarkation 
at Ismailia, had traversed the desert, had occupied the capital of 
Egypt, and had fortunately defeated the enemy four times." 

It was no longer a Work of destruction that was needed, but a work 
of reconstitution. The defeat of the army at Tel-el- Reconstitution 
Kebir and the capture of Arabi had destroyed the only °f Egypt, 
power capable for the moment of governing the country. The Khedive 
and his Ministry (the rightful representatives of the Government) were 
left powerless. It became a matter of urgent necessity that in some 
way or other order should be restored, and the lost powers of govern- 
ment replaced in the hands of their legitimate owners. It became a 
question whether England should undertake the work. In their own 
interest most of the European Powers desired that Egypt should be 
well governed, or at any rate solvent. They were willing enough 
that England, to whom, as they recognised, peace in Egypt was a 
matter of vital importance, should be at the expense and trouble of 
carrying out the work of re-establishment, which was properly speak- 
ing the dutj of all the Powers. The destruction had been the work 
of English arms ; it seemed only fitting that the labour of reconstruction 
should also fall to England. Vet the position was quite anomalous. 
It was by a sort of chance that tin- English Government had found 
themselves involved in a serious war. They had drifted into an 
armed intervention, driven by the force of circumstances and not by 
any will of their own. They had not acted as one of the members of 
the Dual Control in alliance with Prance. They had noi acted as the 
mandatory of the general will of Europe. They could no longer claim 
to be the agents of the Europeau concert. Their help had not boon 
asked for by the Khedive; on the contrary, the army crushed at Tel- 
el-Kebir had called itself the Khedive's army. 

It was necessary to clear up this anomalous position. One fact 

plain — Egypt was conquered. The natural alternative seemed to 

lie between a complete annexation of the conquered country and an 


open declaration of a Protectorate. No Liberal Government could 
contemplate such a step as annexation, nor would the popular feeling 
have allowed it. But the establishment of a Protectorate seemed 
both an effective and a possible measure. No opposition was to be 
expected of a formidable character, except perhaps from France. In 
Egypt itself the Protectorate would have been warmly welcomed ; and 
there could be no question as to the impetus which the presence of an 
English Kesident, the representative of the protecting Power, would 
have imparted to the realisation of the contemplated reforms. But the 
English Government, wisely or unwisely, preferred a far more difficult 
policy, which appeared to them more consistent with the views they 
England had already declared. They determined to occupy the 

Jos^tio^of 16 position of adviser to the Egyptian Government, which 
adviser. * should itself carry out a national reform. In a circular 

addressed to the great Powers in January 1883, Lord Granville thus 
explains the policy of his Government: "Although," he says, " for 
the present a British force remains in Egypt for the preservation of 
public tranquillity, her Majesty's Government are desirous of withdraw- 
ing it as soon as the state of the country and the organisation of 
proper means for the maintenance ot the Khedive's authority will 
admit of it. In the mean time the position in which her Majesty's 
Government are placed towards his highness imposes upon them the 
duty of giving advice with the object of securing that the order of things 
to be established shall be of a satisfactory character and possess the 
elements of stability and progress." Such an attitude has in it some- 
thing of hollowness. The desire to educate the Egyptians, to raise 
them till they are fit for self-government, and then to leave them 
alone, is admirable. But advice, to be of value in such circumstances, 
must be taken. If it is not taken, it must be forced upon the 
recipient. And this became apparent when exactly a year later 
Lord Granville wrote to Sir Evelyn Baring, the Consul- General : "It 
should be made clear to the Egyptian Ministers and Governors of 
provinces that the responsibility which for a time rests on England 
obliges her Majesty's Government to insist on the adoption of the 
policy which they recommend, and that it will be necessary that those 
Ministers and Governors who do not follow this course should cease 
to hold their office." It is difficult to see how a giver of compulsory 
advice differs from a Protector, except in the looseness with which his 
responsibilities hang on him. 

Whether the attitude thus assumed was a wise one or not, the 
practical work of reconstitution was taken up in earnest. Lord Dufferin 


was despatched in November 1882 to examine the whole situation, 
and to lay the groundwork of the various necessary Lord Dufferin . g 
reforms. He rapidly removed the obstacles from his reforms in 
wav. The Dual Control ceased at the request of the e:ypt " 
Egyptian Government, and in spite of the opposition of France. 
The trial of Arahi, which had been a cause of warm dispute between 
the Egyptian Ministry and England, was brought to a conclusion. 
The secret and vindictive process by which his countrymen wished to 
deal with him had been withstood by the English Ministry, who 
demanded for him at least an open trial. Lord Dufferin arranged a 
compromise. Arabi pleaded guilty of rebellion before a Court Martial, 
and was sentenced to death, a sentence immediately commuted by 
the Khedive into deportation to Ceylon. This act of grace was not 
performed without a Ministerial crisis; Piaz Pasha and most of the 
Ministry resigned, but fortunately Cherif continued to hold the 
Premiership. With his patriotic co-operation the reforms quickly 
began to assume shape. A financial adviser, Sir Edgar Vincent, 
was appointed. Steps were taken for the creation of a small Egyptian 
army under General Evelyn Wood. A native constabulary was raised 
under General Baker. Mr. Clifford Lloyd, who before long proved 
too energetic tor his place, set to work at the establishment of a police 
force, and the reform of the prisons and hospitals. Public works 
were placed under Captain Scott-Moncrieff, who busied himself chiefly 
with improvements in irrigation; and over the judicial reforms Sir 
Benson Maxwell was appointed with the title of " Procureur-General 
of the Native Tribunals." 

Bui all these promising reforms were suddenly checked for a time. 
A fearful epidemic of cholera swept over the country, 

• ■• i .i datwi • .- i i c A Appearance of 

finding no less than oU,UUU victims; and betore the theMahdim 
Government had recovered from the paralysis thus theSoudan - 
caused, the appearance of the Mahdi in the Soudan compelled it to 
turn all its attention in that direction. It would seem that here the 
real weakness of the }M>sition which the English Government had chosen 
became apparent. For while, by the presence of English troops 
and the employment of English Ministers and superintendents, the 
Government at home were obviously charging themselves with the 
duty of re-establishing Egypt, they positively refused to accept any 
responsibility with regard to events in the Soudan. Fully conscious of 
the inability of Egypt to hold its extended empire, they did not insist 
on Buch a diminution of the area of the country and such a concentra- 
tion of its force- a- Beemed to be rendered necessary by its diminished 


power. They allowed the Egyptian army, under Hicks Pasha, to 
embark on the hopeless project of the reconquest of the Soudan, only 
to meet with entire annihilation at the hands of the Mahdi, November 5, 
1883. Then, when too late, the pressure of England being at last 
brought to bear, the Egyptian Ministry under Cherif resigned, Nubar 
Pasha succeeded to his place, and the evacuation of the Soudan was 
determined on. 

It was an operation of the most extreme difficulty, especially as the 
English Government clung to its determination of withholding armed 
assistance to the Egyptians. A man was found whose character and 
antecedents afforded some hope of his ability to save the situation. 
General Gordon, who had previously ruled Upper Egypt with success, 
proved willing to undertake the withdrawal of the scattered garrisons 
whose existence was threatened by the advance of the Mahdi. Trust- 
ing to his own unequalled power of influencing half- civilised races, he 
undertook the duty without the assistance of English troops. There 
Avas a distinct understanding, as Lord Hartington stated (April 3), 
' ' that there was to be no expedition for the relief of Khartoum or 
any garrison in the Soudan." It was a task beyond his power. 
All hope of a peaceful conclusion to his mission speedily vanished. 
The insurrection spread on all sides ; the Mahdi's troops captured 
one after the other the Egyptian garrisons. On the west Osman 
Digna representing the Mahdi besieged the fortresses of Tokar and 
Sinkat, and advanced almost within reach of Suakin. The relief of 
Tokar was entrusted to Baker Pasha, with the Egyptian Gendarmerie. 
Xot yet formed as soldiers, they were no match for the Arabs. 
The square unexpectedly attacked on its march was immediately 
broken ; the whole army fled, leaving 2200 on the field (February 5 . 
Sinkat and Tokar at once surrendered. The fear lest the insurrection 
should reach the coast and spread into Arabia, thus disastrously 
affecting the Indian high road, forced upon England the necessity of 
defending Suakin. Thither General Graham was despatched, and 
there he succeeded in winning the battle of El Teb over Osman Digna, 
and in checking the Arab advance by subsequent operations. The hand 
of England had thus been in some degree forced ; it had been found 
impossible to decline all responsibility, impossible to avoid recourse to 
arms; and now the news that General Gordon was surrounded in 
Gordon in Khartoum roused in England an overwhelming feeling 

Khartoum. t na t British troops must be used in this direction also. 

As early as March 23, 1884, the Mahdi's troops had begun to fire 
upon the city, and Gordon, driven to the defensive, had been giving 

Tel-cl-Wfife&f^Jternaiii-, Scale of Miles 

Of 5 ^ O 5 lOO 2CX) JOO 

Cairo? 1 

,/ ir^Stephanit 




proof of his resourceful vigour. But before long Khartoum was so 
closely invested that no certain news of what happened there could 
he obtained. A universal cry arose in England for the relief of 
Gordon. Yet the Government continued to hesitate. Though they 
were fully determined to send an army of relief, there was a great 
division of opinion as to the most desirable route to be adopted ; 
months were wasted in discussing the question whether Khartoum 
should be approached by the Red Sea and Berber, or by the longer 
but better-known route up the Nile. A vote of credit, nominally 
for preparations only, was demanded before the close of the session, 
and seemed to prove that an expedition was in contemplation. But 
there were still some weeks of fatal delay ; it was not till the 1st of 
woiseiey's September that Lord Wolseley, who had been chosen 

expedition to to com mand the expedition, sailed from England. When 

Khartoum, A ' ° 

Sept. i, 1884. once active operations had begun, there was no lack of 
energy or good management. The difficulties which of necessity occurred 
in moving an army in small boats up a river broken with cataracts were 
gradually surmounted, but it was not till December that Korti was 
reached. Aware of the necessity of haste, Wolseley from thence sent 
forward General Herbert Stewart, with a detachment of some 2000 
men, to cut off a great curve of the river by a direct march across 
the desert to Metemma. General Stewart, fighting successfully two 
well-contested battles on the way, at Abu Klea and Gubat, arrived 
again at the river. He had been mortally wounded in the last en- 
gagement, and had given up the command to Sir Charles Wilson. 
Several of Gordon's ironclad steamers were found at Metemma, ready 
to receive the relieving troops. Wilson thought it necessary to make 
a reconnaissance below Metemma before proceeding further. The 
delay may have been necessary, but it was certainly 
foum^rTSe, fatal t0 tlie success of the expedition. On the 28th of 
i 885 - January, Wilson with a small detachment of troops 

steamed up to Khartoum, only to find the flag of the Mahdi waving 
over it, the place having been occupied and General Gordon killed 
just two days before. 

Gordon was a man cast in heroic mould. His virtues, his faults, 
and his eccentricities were alike full of grandeur. His strange and 
varied career, the mastery he everywhere displayed over the half- 
civilised races with whom he had chiefly had to deal, the charm of his 
personality, the hold he acquired on the love and fidelity of his 
followers, had given him a unique place in the admiration of the nation. 
The dramatic incidents attending the tragic close of the life of such 


1 man excited the deepest feeling throughout the country. From all 
sides the most bitter reproaches were directed against Deathof 
the Ministers, who were held to have deserted him Gordon, 
and by their procrastination to have caused Ids ruin. The tall of 
Khartoum and the death of Gordon were in fact the death-blow of the 
Ministry. No doubt their misdeeds were grossly exaggerated, yet it 
is not possible to free them from blame. 

Tlic w hole of their conduct during the unfortunate year of 1884 was 
marked by irresolution and weakness. The anoma- Drifting- policy 
I0U8 position they had insisted in taking up produced a of Government. 
tissue of blunders and misunderstandings. Believing that the evacua- 
tion of the Soudan was a financial and political necessity, they yet 
declined responsibility in the matter, and allowed Hicks Pasha to march 
to his ruin, and Baker Pasha, unaided, to be annihilated in his efforts to 
relieve Tokar. They then suddenly made use of their practical 
authority to insist upon the retirement from Upper Egypt. But, 
regardless of the immense difficulty of the operation, they sent no 
a-sjstance to the Egyptian Government, but trusted entirely to the 
individual efforts of Gordon. Again they blundered from a want of 
definition of their responsibilities and duties. It was uncertain then, 
and is hardly certain now, whether Gordon went out as representative 
of tip- English or the Egyptian Government. It seems to have been 
agreed when he started that he was to receive orders from the 
English Government only. And certainly the Government, through 
I. old Granville, had, on the 19th of February, publicly declared their 
responsibility for everything that Gordon did. Yet before he left 
( aiio ho was Buffered to accept from the Khedive the title of Governor- 
General of the Soudan, and appears to have been instructed not only 
to withdraw the garrisons, but to establish some form of independent 
rnment. It is certain that he so understood his duties. But 
, wry suggestion that he made, every request that he proffered for 
the purpose of carrying out what he considered the object of his 
mission was refused, and apparently regarded as implying an excess 
of zeal "ii his part. lie was not allowed to use Zebehr, the great 
slave dealer, to counteract the influence of the Mahdi ; he was not 
aHowed to obtain the assistance of Turkish troops or of the Indian 
troops at Wady Haifa : he was not allowed to confer personally, as he 
desired, with the Mahdi, or to open the road between Suakin and 
Berber; and, chief blunder of all, a quarrel as to the route of the 
relieving army was Buffered to waste months of valuable time. 

The fall of Khartoum sealed the fate of the Soudan. The troops 


gradually fell back. A vigorous but not very successful attempt was 
Abandonment made to reopen the line between Suakin and Berber, 
of the Soudan. \i\\\\ all the most complete apparatus, such as a 
railway and vast pumps for supplying water to the troops. The ex- 
pedition met with no disaster, but encountered opposition of unexpected 
strength, and as the Indian troops employed were required elsewhere, 
the operation was given up, the railway apparatus sent back to England, 
the withdrawal from the Soudan concluded, and Wady Haifa made 
the extreme limit of the Egyptian frontier. The chances of invasion 
from the Mahdi still remained however so strong, that an army of not 
less than 14,000 men was left in the country. 

In spite of all this terrible blundering — indeed, in some degree on 
improvements account of it— the condition of Egypt was cxtraordin- 
in Egypt. arily improved before the dissolution of Parliament and 

change of Ministry in 1885. The Convention of London (April 
1885) may be regarded as the starting-point of the successful re- 
novation of the country. From the first it had been recognised 
that finance lay at the bottom of the Egyptian question. The law 
of liquidation of 1880 had certainly been a long step forward ; but 
it had in it one point of weakness, an error which has been common 
in many financial arrangements. It had insisted, not only on the 
payment of the interest of the debts, but on the establishment 
of a sinking fund. Thus, when the resources set apart for the pay- 
ment of the debt and therefore payable to the Caisse were larger, 
as they often were, than was necessary to meet the interest of the 
debt, the surplus was paid into the sinking fund, however much it 
might be needed for the general administrative expenses of the country. 
The bondholders benefited, but the administration w T as starved. Sir 
Edgar Vincent had shown much ability, tact, and determination* in 
bringing the finances into order and insisting on economy. But 
though by means of the sinking fund the body of the debt had been 
diminished by a million, there was still an unpayable deficit on the 
administrative budget. Immediate improvement in the financial 
situation had been rendered hopeless by the insurrection, the claims 
arising from the riots in Alexandria, and the difficulties in the Soudan. 
It was so plain that the deficit could only be extinguished by some 
change in the law of liquidation (which could not be modified without 
the consent of the great Powers), that Lord Granville assembled a 
conference in London to attempt a solution of the difficulty. 

The conference was rendered abortive by the unwillingness of 
France to allow of any diminution of the interest paid to bondholders. 

1885] WORK IN EGYPT 53 

Bui ir bad nol been wholly useless. Plans had been suggested which 
might be used as basis of future negotiations. Mean- 

Conference on 

while, as the conference had settled nothing, Lord Egyptian 

.. , , , ,- . w \ i\ •• finance, 1885. 

Northbrook was sent to Egypt as High ( ommissioner 
to Bee whether anything could be done on the spot. He advised the 
Egyptian Government to lake a Btrong step, and to order the taxes to 
be paid direct Into the Exchequer instead of into the Caisse, an 
evidenl violation of the existing regulations. Indeed, acting on behalf 
of their Governments, the Consuls-General of all the great Powers, 
with the exception of Italy, protested in no measured terms against 
the action of the Egyptian Government. The Caisse went further, 
and obtained a legal judgment against it. But meanwhile the 
broken negotiations had been resumed. The impossibility that Egypt 
should under the existing arrangements continue its course of im- 
provement was demonstrated, and, with much expenditure of diplomacy 
and much timely concession, the English Government at length suc- 
ceeded in securing a general consensus among the Powers, which was 
thrown into the form of the Convention of London. By this arrange - 
ment Egypt was allowed to raise upon the joint guarantee of all the 
Towers a loan of £9,000,000, at a low rate of interest ; while for the 
future the surplus of the funds of the Caisse, after paying the interest 
of the loans, was to be employed first in defraying any deficit in the 
administrative budget caused by duly authorised expenditure. If 
there was still a surplus, one half went to the Caisse, the other half 
the administration was free to spend. The Convention gave the 
required relief. The loan was raised without the slightest difficulty. 
It enabled the Egyptian Government to pay the Alexandria compensa- 
tions and all the outstanding deficits, and left in hand £1,000,000 to 
be speni on the one most pressing need, the restoration of the system 
of Irrigation. 

With limits restricted to territory which it was within its power to 
defend, with finances which now that the Convention 

,i i i i • • rt . • Lord Cromer's 

had secured a breathing time were sufficient for its successful 
needs, Egypt was henceforward to advance rapidly work - 
towards prosperity under the masterly leading of Major Evelyn Baring, 
. nhse.pieiith Lord Cromer. The period of vacillation seemed to have 
reached its conclusion. Some ^( the magnificent hopes which had 
been formed in the earlier days of the occupation were laid aside, and 
a firm hand directed to complete a sufficient if more restricted pro- 
gramme of reform. 

The foreign policy of the Government had thus been attended with 


a fair measure of success in Europe, and in spite of grievous blunders 
and disasters had left Egypt in a more hopeful position than that 
country had ever yet attained. It had produced peace ; it had main- 
tained and employed successfully the European concert. Even when 
breaking with it and acting upon its own initiative, England had been 
allowed without any overt opposition to follow its own course. 

The conduct of the Government with respect to South Africa was of 

, a different character, and produced far less satisfactory 

policy in south results. When in opposition, Mr. Gladstone and his 

friends had raised their voices loudly against the 
annexation of the Transvaal, and had spoken with severity of Sir Bartle 
Frere's policy. Yet upon their accession to office no change was 
made. Apparently the attempt to confederate the South African 
States was to be continued, and the Transvaal to be ruled as an 
integral portion of the Empire. The explanation offered seemed 
sound. It was pointed out that there was the greatest difference in 
matters of foreign and colonial government between approval and 
Question of reversal of policy ; a new Administration has to make 

annexation of the best of the political legacy it receives from its pre- 

decessors ; that a reversal of policy should follow every 
change of Ministry would introduce an uncertainty into the national 
relations which could scarcely fail to be disastrous. But while thus 
continuing to declare that the authority of the Crown must be main- 
tained, the Government were reconsidering the situation, and gradu- 
ally arriving at the conclusion that the annexation, carried out as 
it was believed at the time with the consent of the majority of the 
inhabitants, had, in fact, been the result of false information. 
Although the inhabitants of the towns had welcomed the security 
which annexation would give them, the Boer farmers, who constituted 
the real strength of the country, were vehemently opposed to any 
limitation of their independence. In spite of the repeated assertions 
of the officials that the new government was accepted and the taxes 
willingly paid, the strength of the disaffection was brought home in no 
doubtful manner when, on December 1G, 1880, a general insurrection 
broke out, and the Boers proceeded to re-establish their old form of 

According to the Ministerial explanations, Mr. Gladstone was con- 
vinced that a backward step was necessary ; that justice required the 
acknowledgment of the mistake under which the annexation had been 
carried out ; and that the attempt to uphold it and to suppress the in- 
surrection by arms would probably precipitate a general war of races, 


nol only in the Transvaal, but throughout the Colony. He believed 
thai a peaceable solution might be arrived at, at once honourable to 
England and satisfactory to the Boers. To reach this desirable end, 
the good offices of Mr. Brand, the able and honourable President of the 
Orange Free State, were accepted. On the 27th of January, Sir 
Hercules Robinson, the High Commissioner, informed him that, 
••it' avowed opposition ceased forthwith, her Majesty's Government 
would endeavour to frame such a scheme as they believed would 
Batisfj all enlightened friends of the Transvaal." Meanwhile, military 
operations were not suspended. On the 24th of January, Sir George 
( lolley advanced against the Transvaal with an army of only 1000 men. 
On the 28th he was repulsed in an attack upon the insurgent position 
of Laing's Nek. On the 7th of February, while attempting to open 
communications with Newcastle, he was attacked on the Ingogo river, 
and withdrew with difficulty. Having received no answer to an offer 
he had sent to the Boers, he hastily attempted to turn Laing's Nek by 
occupying Majuba Hill. He was there attacked by the MajubaHin. 
Boers, himself killed, and his detachment annihilated. Feb. 27, issi. 
Immediately following these disasters, an armistice was made between 
Sir Evelyn Wood, the new commander, and Joubert, the Boer general. 
The armistice was prolonged, and in March a conference was held, at 
which Kruger, Pretorius, and Brand were all present, and terms of 
were arrived at. 

The Ministry, when charged by the Opposition with yielding igno- 
miniously to the victorious arms of the Boers, declared that negotiations 
had been already set od foot before the late disasters. It does not 
seem dear why, if negotiation was possible and imminent, warlike 
measures should have been taken. Several English garrisons were 
indeed besieged, and their relief ma\ have been thought necessary to 
establish the prestige of England during the negotiations. The igno- 
minious failure of the attempt to relieve them, followed immediately 
by the armistice and peace, was certainly disastrous. Appearances 
lent themselves to the belief that the Ministerial views of justice were 
influenced by the failure, and that England had been placed in a 
humiliating position. 

The terms of agreement were afterwards formulated in a Convention, 
and ratified by the Transvaal Volksraad, October 25, convention of 
1881. Every effort was made to save the dignity of Oct. issi. 
England and to give the negotiations the air of a friendly examination 
into the Bources of discontent conducted by a superior Power. A Royal 
Commission, consisting of Sir Hercules Kohinson, Sir Evelyn Wood, and 


Sir Henry de Villiers, holding - its sittings at Pretoria, was appointed to 
consider all the circumstances of the case. Nor was it without com- 
pensation that freedom was again granted to the Boers. The fruitful 
source of previous disorder had been the unlimited power of expansion 
which the Boers had possessed ; it was this which had brought them 
so constantly into collision with the native tribes ; and the chief 
cause of the deeply marked separation between them and the English 
was the entirely different view taken as to the treatment of the natives. 
In the Convention, which was the outcome of the Royal Commission, 
a well-detined boundary was established, leaving in English hands the 
line of communication between Cape Town and the interior, and at 
the same time preventing further expansion over the Bechuanas to the 
west. It was clearly understood that the Bechuanas were under 
English protection. The fair treatment of the natives was to be 
secured by the presence in Pretoria of an English Resident, specially 
charged to guard their interests as well as to supervise the foreign 
relations of the Republic. With these restrictions, and under the fully 
expressed suzerainty of the British Crown, the Boers were allowed 
complete self-government. In this case, as in Ireland, the unfortunate 
coincidence of armed and violent disaffection deprived of all its grace 
an act of national justice, and left behind it, in the place of gratitude, 
the formidable lesson that an English Ministry could be made to yield 
by sufficient pressure. 

The lesson was not lost upon the Boers. Victorious as they believed 
in arms, they yet found themselves in the grasp of a superior Power, 
which limited their action in some of their most vital interests. It 
was soon evident that they were unwilling to submit to the restrictions 
laid upon them. Agitation for modifications of the Convention speedily 
showed itself. The discovery of gold, and the consequent influx of 
European immigrants, began to work changes in the character of the 
people. A wealthier,, and not too scrupulous, element was introduced. 
To the love of individual freedom and impatience of restraint which 
. _ characterised the Boer farmer, Avas added the ambition 

unrest or > 

the Boers, of the adventurous and speculative townsman and 

miner. There began to be talk of obtaining again the 
complete freedom secured by the obsolete Sand River Convention of 
1852. Causes of quarrel began to multiply. To clear the way for 
the railroad from Pretoria to Delagoa Bay which was to afford a com- 
mercial opening to the sea, it was necessary to destroy the power of 
the native tribes occupying the north-east of the Transvaal. After 
many defeats, the Boers succeeded in overcoming their determined 


opposition; the chiefs were brought to trial as rebels, and one of 
them suffered the punishmenl of death. Another measure which 
could scarcely commend itself to English views followed; the greater 
portion of the conquered tribes were reduced to semi-slavery as 
indentured apprentices. The action of the Boers on the western 
frontier gave an even more direct and dangerous sign of their intention 
to override the Convention. The territorial limits of the Transvaal on 
that side had been carefully drawn, and the Bechuana tribes had been 
acknowledged to be under the protection of England. But the Boers 
succeeded in forming an alliance with certain of the chiefs, while 
Bome 500 of them, who could be regarded as little else than freebooters, 
obtained settlements beyond the limit fixed by the Convention. The 
great line of internal communication was thus threatened, and a Boer 
Protectorate within the English Protectorate established. 

At the English Colonial Office was Lord Derby. His whole career 
had been marked by a somewhat extreme anxiety to Lord Derby's 
avoid the risk of war; and he now so far listened to policy- 
the representations of the Boers as to appoint a Commissioner to 
examine into the working of the Convention, and to report on the 
modifications required. The duty of the High Commissioner was 
however forestalled, and before he left England the Colonial Office 
was informed that his visit was useless, for the Volksraad had already 
determined that the time for remodelling the Convention had arrived, 
and requested leave to send three Commissioners to England for the 
purpose of stating the demands of the Transvaal Government. Consent 
was given, and President Kruger, Secretary Dutort, and Mr. Smit, 
arriving in the autumn of 1883, were able before the close of the 
. after numerous conferences with Lord Derby, to set out on 
their home journey with the conviction that they had been successful. 

Early in L884 the Colonial Minister embodied his views in a new 
Convention, and laid them before Parliament. It ap- 
peared that, for the Bake of securing a peaceful solution of Feb. 27, 
of the question of the Bechuana frontier, Lord Derby 1884 ' 
was ready to make great concessions. The Convention was in almost 
every point favourable to the wishes of the discontented Boer leaders. 
The western limit, with some slight alteration in favour of the Transvaal, 
was indeed firmly insisted upon. But, on the other hand, the position 
of England as the sovereign or suzerain power seemed almost to dis- 
appear. The Resident was withdrawn; a representative of less 
importance and with only consular powers took his place, while in 
not one of the amended clauses was the suzerainty of the Crown 


asserted. The sole mark of superiority retained was the right of veto 
on foreign treaties, which still remained in imperial hands. Although 
Lord Derby treated it as a matter of no importance, it is impossible 
in the light of subsequent events to avoid the conclusion that the 
omission of some reassertion of the suzerainty was a grave error. 
Technically the new Convention consisted of amendments of certain 
clauses containing the conditions of the grant of self-government 
under British suzerainty which had been made in 1881 ; the grant 
itself remained unchanged. But it is impossible to deny that the 
omission of all reference to the supremacy of England gave rise to 
the very natural view that the Convention of 1884 was substituted 
in its entirety for that which preceded it. 

It was not without difficulty that the western frontier of the 
Transvaal was settled and cleared. The native tribes had employed 
Europeans in their wars. The Transvaal had been used as a basis of 
operations, and the land was rapidly falling into European hands ; the 
intruders had established two independent governments known as 
Goshen and Stellaland. To clear them out it was necessary to send 
Sir Charles Warren with British troops. Without bloodshed, but at 
considerable cost, the filibusters were got rid of, and in the autumn 
of 1885 Bechuanaland was formed into a Crown colony. 

The problems which the Government was called upon to solve in 
„ 1JL . . South Africa were not confined to the relations between 

Difficulties in . . 

cape colony Great Britain and the iransvaal; a plentiful crop was 
to be found even in the settled Colonies. By no means 
the least of these was the attitude of the Dutch element of the popula- 
tion in Cape Colony, a direct consequence of the late complications in 
the Transvaal. It could not be expected that the inhabitants of 
Dutch extraction would watch without sympathy the comparative 
success of the attempt made by their fellow-countrymen beyond the 
Vaal to secure greater independence. The division between the 
races, which had been gradually dying out, was again accentuated ; 
and, chiefly by the exertions of Mr. Hofmeyer, a member of the 
Cape Government, the Africander Bond was called into existence for 
the purpose of securing to the Dutch a preponderating influence in the 
administration of the Colony. Disloyalty to England was not as yet 
contemplated, but the movement threatened to introduce a dangerous 
element of discord. Again, the people of Natal, for the most part of 
British origin, had begun to feel aggrieved at the distinctions drawn 
between them and the inhabitants of Cape Colony. They regarded 
themselves as equally well fitted for the privilege of self-government, 


and resented the inferior position which they occupied as a Crown 
colony. A vehemenl agitation was set on foot to secure constitutional 
advantages. The problem was left unsettled at the close of Mr. 
Gladstone's .Ministry. The desire of Natal for self-government had 
been strengthened by the disregard shown to the Colonial wishes in 
the treatment of Cetchwayo, who had been left a prisoner in the 
hands of the English at the close of the Zulu War in 1879. lie had 
been restored to his dominions in spite of the strongly expressed 
remonstrance of the Colony. The restoration produced tribal dis- 
turbances, and gave occasion for interference on the part of the 
Boers, always eager to extend their power towards the east and to 
Becure an outlet for themselves upon the sea. It became necessary 
gradually to extend British rule northward from Natal along the whole 
coast until the borders of Portuguese territory were reached. 

It was indeed becoming obvious that events had rendered the old 
\ie\\. held by the Liberals with regard to colonial colonial re- 
aflfairs, impossible. It is somewhat difficult to trace a sponsibiutiea. 
consistent line in the colonial policy of Mr. Gladstone's Ministry, but 
there would appear to have been at the bottom of it a desire to be 
free from colonial complications, and to leave the Colonies to shift 
for themselves when once endowed with constitutional institutions. 
If the idea of thus eluding the responsibilities of empire existed, 
events were on all sides tending to secure its disappointment. More 
and more home intervention was being demanded, fresh responsibilities 
were constantly being assumed. In South Africa, while upon the 
in Zululand an increase of territory under the immediate super- 
intendence of imperial authority had been found necessary, Bechuana- 
land upon the west had been withdrawn from the authority of t he 
Cape and placed under the protection of the Colonial Office. The 
Colony had also proved unable to suppress an insurrection in Basuto- 
land, caused by an imprudent attempt to disarm the natives, and there, 
too, it had been found necessary to transfer the country to the Colonial 
Office. Even in Australia the moderating hand of the central Govern- 
ment had horn required to check the ambitious views of the local 
Government. The people of Queensland had thrown covetous eyes 
upon the island of New Guinea, regardless both of the well-being of 
the natives and of the claims of other countries. It was only by 
imperial intervention, exercised at the risk of a dangerous quarrel 
with the Colony, that the annexation was prevented. The entrance 
of other European countries, more especially Germany, upon the Held 
of colonial expansion, and the establishment and definition of the 


Congo State, still further intensified the difficulty of leaving the 
colonies to shift for themselves. 

Hand-in-hand with the vast responsibility incurred by attempting 
The Federation to rule from one centre dominions so widespread as 
League. those of England, went the certainty of a continually 

increasing expenditure which might well cause disquiet. It had 
already begun. Large sums had been granted for the increase of the 
navy ; demands were being raised for the establishment of colonial 
depots, and the fortification of coaling stations. The alternative which 
seemed a natural corollary of the Liberal policy was the separation of 
the colonies, and their establishment as independent Powers when 
they so desired it. To many men of imperial instincts, with whom 
the sentiment of a great united empire was strong, such an alternative 
was abhorrent ; and there arose a widely felt desire for some form of 
federation by which the colonies might become a more integral part 
of the empire. The idea was warmly supported both by Mr. Forster 
and by Lord Kosebery. All efforts to form a definite plan were un- 
availing, and the scheme was generally regarded as Utopian ; but a 
Federation League was formed, and the idea of some closer union, 
some division both of responsibility and expense, while the unity of 
the empire was still retained, began to take a place in men's minds, 
and was destined to play a prominent part in politics. 

Ireland, Egypt, and the Colonies had afforded abundant opportunities 
to the assailants of Government. The conduct of domestic affairs 
was no less full of thorny questions. 

Irish Legislation, with its unfailing supply of heated discussion, and 
Domestic the stormy course of foreign politics, had driven do- 

affairs, mestic legislation into the background, and it was not 

until the session of 1884 that Mr. Gladstone's Government was able to 
bring in their Franchise Bill. Of all the measures which had consti- 
tuted the programme of the Liberal party at the general election of 
1880, and to which the Ministry felt itself pledged, this was by far the 
most important. It was another step forward along the path of 
Democracy, a fresh development in that process of extension and equali- 
sation of civil rights which had been begun by the Reform Bill of 1832. 
Its ostensible object was to place on the same footing the rural and the 
borough voters. Its effect was to add to the roll of voters a vast number 
drawn from a class less instructed and perhaps less intelligent than the 
class to which the franchise had hitherto been extended, and whose 
political action when enfranchised was a matter of much uncertainty. 

The Bill proposed by the Government, as explained by Mr. Gladstone 


at the end of February, was very simple. By the Act of 1X52, the 
franchise in boroughs had been given to the occupiers TheFranchise 
of houses of n<> clear annual value. By the Acts of Bin introduced, 
1867 and 1869 it had been extended to all occupiers' 
of rated dwelling-houses who actually inhabited them. It was not 
proposed very largely to interfere with these limits. The £10 
franchise was henceforward to apply to land, whether there were build- 
ings on it or not; and a new franchise, intended to include those who 
though in all respects lifted for the enjoyment of the franchise were 
prevented by their occupations from living in houses of their own, was 
to h<> established. The name of "Service franchise" sufficiently 
indicates its character. To these franchises as established in boroughs, 
the county franchises, to which previous legislation had fixed higher 
limits, were to be now exactly assimilated. The Bill was to apply not 
only to England but to Scotland and Ireland. Its result would be an 
addition of about two million to the three million electors already 
existing in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister allowed at once 
that s.i vast a change must require the redistribution of seats, and this 
immediately. Vet be determined to introduce the two measures 
separately, to proceed first with the enfranchising Bill and to pass, 
only after its completion, to the question of redistribution. The wisdom 
of such an arrangement was of course doubtful; but Mr. Gladstone at 
once took high ground, and attempted to give his Hill a character of 
broad constitutional meaning which might raise it above the level of 
ordinary party contest. Be based his advocacy upon no grounds 
of class or party, but upon the great principle that in width of repre- 
Bentation lay the strength of the constitution, and that it was a good 
thing in itself that as large a body as possible of fitting voters should 
enjoy the franchise. With regard to their litnoss, he held that the 
countryman, though he might be less sharp than his compatriot in the 
town, was likely to be a man of greater self-dependence and of more 
practised judgment because so much in bis daily life was left to him- 
self and his hand had to be ready for so many various occupations. 
Redistribution, which Mr. Gladstone evidently regarded as chiefly 
important in its relation to parties, he said, might well be postponed. 
principle of the Franchise Bill he declared to be quite simple, and 
to he of such importance that as little opening as possible should be 
given, by the introduction of side issues, for those minor differences of 
opinion by which Bills are so often wrecked. 

This view befitted a great statesman: yet it was exactly on this 
point, the separation of the two parts of the measure, that the 


Conservatives based their opposition. Thoroughly disliking the Bill, 
t ^ ie y ^ ^ e ^ ^ impossible to resist what was but the 
the Franchise natural outcome of principles already accepted. They 
saw however, as Mr. Gladstone had feared that 
they would, infinite opportunities of throwing obstacles in the way 
of its completion if they could obscure its simple outlines with the 
details of party issues. And as far as party tactics were concerned, 
the destruction of the Bill was of great importance. The Parliament 
was drawing towards its natural end, and the Opposition believed, or at 
all events affected to believe, that, if the Franchise Bill alone was 
allowed to pass, Government would at once dissolve, so that the 
new Parliament might be elected by the enlarged constituencies 
unmodified hj redistribution. They believed, moreover, that the 
Government was severely shaken by the disasters of its foreign policy ; 
they were therefore eager to find some means of defeating it speedily 
and forcing a dissolution, so that the general election might be held 
with the existing limited constituencies. The anomalies of the 
franchise were so obvious that they had little hope of resisting the Bill 
by itself. It is true that some members even of the Liberal party, 
such for instance as Mr. Goschen, were bold and independent enough 
to state the strong objection they felt to placing political power in the 
hands of a constituency so ignorant as they believed the rural population 
to be. It is true also that a still larger number of men on both sides 
of the House questioned the propriety of extending the new franchises 
to Ireland ; they feared that the increase of voters would diminish 
the proportionate strength of the loyal minority, and that its effect 
would only be that which they before all else deprecated, an increase 
of the power already wielded by Mr. Parnell. But on neither of these 
points, nor on the form in which the Bill was presented to the House, 
would the Government give way. Mr. Gladstone 
of the Govern- opposed every assault upon its essential principle ; and 
ment ' Mr. Trevelyan, the Irish Secretary, who had had 

much to do with drafting it, did not hesitate to say that its extension 
to Ireland was so integral a part of it that he would instantly leave 
any Ministry who thought of applying it only to England and Scotland. 
The discrepancies visible in the views of the Opposition with respect 
to redistribution seemed in themselves to justify the course the 
Government had taken in separating the two measures. 

The Franchise Bill was too important to escape a lengthened dis- 
cussion, but as it gradually worked its way through its various 
stages, the feeling constantly became stronger that its principle waa 


unassailable. The sole hope of successful opposition to it lay in the 
demand for immediate redistribution; and, in the face TheFranchise 
of the assured Government majority in the House of Biiiinthe 
Commons, it was felt that the destruction of the Bill 
on this ground must be relegated to the House of Lords. It was soon 
known that the Peers would have no objection to undertake the task 
laid upon them by the Opposition. Early in May a meeting of Con- 
Bervative Peers was held, followed by an article in the Standard, the 
accepted organ of the party, which announced that if the Bill reached 
the Upper House it would be met by a resolution which would, if 
carried, bo tantamount to a rejection of the Bill itself. A disagree- 
ment between the Houses, recalling the great crisis of the Reform 
Bill of 183*2, was imminent. The utterances of Lord Salisbury during 
the Whitsuntide recess seemed to destroy all hope that the collision 
could be avoided. "Unless the measure for Redistribution went 
hand-in-hand," he said, "with the measure for Representation he 
would strongly recommend the Lords to throw out the present Bill." 
It was thus with a full recognition of the approach of a dangerous 
quarrel that Mr. Gladstone in June moved the third reading of the 
Bill. He spoke in language which w r as thought by some to be unduly 
threatening. While looking forward with grave apprehension to a 
collision between the Houses, he declared his own conscience clear, 
and threw the responsibility entirely upon his opponents. His words 
produced some protests in favour of the rights of the Upper House, 
but without much delay the third reading passed in June nemine 

•adicente, the Conservatives having left the House well assured 
of tin- futility of opposition and certain that their objects could be 
secured elsewhere. 

The position of the Conservatives in the Upper House was not 
without its difficulties. The question at issue was one 
in which the interests of the Lower House were far Biiiinthe 
more deeply implicated than those of their own. And ords * 
though there could be no question as to their constitutional right to 
throw out the Bill, any interference on their part in a question of 
representation was certainly open to objection. Moreover, it could 
■earcely be denied that the narrow ground on which they rested their 
oj ^osit ion gave their action the appearance of a party move. It was 
in avowed fear, from a party point of view, of a general election with 
th.- enlarged constituency that they had determined to force on a 

lution. The House of Lords could scarcely avoid the imputation 
of allowing itself to be used as a party instrument by the Conservative 


leaders. Such objections and difficulties however had no effect on 
Lord Salisbury. In vain did Mr. Gladstone reject with scorn the 
theory that under any circumstances the Peers could have a right to 
dictate the moment for dissolution. In vain were moderate voices 
raised, warning the Peers of the dangers of the line of conduct on which 
they were entering. The Opposition leader and his friends were 
firm in their determination ; and, as had been foretold, immediately on 
the introduction of the Bill it was met by an amendment moved by 
Lord Cairns, declaring that while the House was willing to concur in 
a complete scheme for the extension of the franchise, it could not 
consent to support the second reading of the Bill, " unless accompanied 
by an adequate assurance that the measure would not come into 
operation except as an entire scheme. 1 ' Backed by the great Tory 
majority always at his command in the Upper House, Lord Salisbury 
upheld the amendment in a speech full of bitter sarcasm. The division 
showed that the House had freed itself of all scruples. The amend-' 
ment was carried by a very large majority. 

It was at once understood that this vote, although it did not formally 
reject the Bill, was fatal to its further progress. Mr. 

N6C6Ssity tor * i i -» i i • • 

autumn Gladstone thereupon stated his intention to get through 

the necessary work as quickly as possible, and to call 
an autumn session in which the Bill, unaltered, would be reintroduced. 
But though assuming this firm position, there is no doubt that he was 
eagerly desirous to avoid an internecine contest between the Houses. 
More than once he pointed out the risk of grave constitutional diffi- 
culties if the Peers, by their opposition to the will of the constituencies, 
forced upon the country the question of the reform of the House of 
Lords. More than once he emphasised the possibility of the junction 
of the two questions, the reform of the representation and the reform 
of the House of Lords, becoming a source of serious danger. He had 
indeed ever since the second reading of the Bill, carried on informal 
negotiations with the Opposition leaders, with a view of arriving at 
some compromise and of discovering what they would regard as an 
" adequate security.'" These negotiations produced much misunder- 
standing and much useless vituperation ; but they at least proved that 
on the part of the Liberal leaders there was a real inclination to 
arrive at some form of compromise. The feeling that a direct quarrel 
between the Houses should be avoided was so strong with a consider- 
able section of both parties, that Lord Wemys introduced an amend- 
ment embodying such a compromise. Finally however on the advice 
of Lord Salisbury it was rejected, and an amendment of Lord Cadogan 


leclaring in set form " that the two Bills should be presented together 
in the autumn," was carried. The Franchise Bill thus disappeared. 

The session was shortly broughl to an end, and England rang with 
loud declamations in support of one side or other public excite- 
Of the great dispute. There was a perfect rage for ^^^ 
public meetings. The Liberals claimed to have held question. 
DO less than 1277 iii England, and 235 in Scotland. The number of 
those who attended them was roughly calculated at 4,000,000. It 
was considered thai the will of the people was clearly demonstrated 
by these overwhelming figures, contrasted as they were with the poor 
tale oi' 180 meetings and an audience of 300,000, of which the 
opponents of the Bill could boast. 

Parliament again met in October for an autumn session. A few 
words were said in the Queen's Speech about the con- . 

L Autumn 

dition of Egypt and of the Transvaal; but the only session, Oct. 
Bill mentioned was the Franchise Bill, which was to 
be at once reintroduced. It was in fact brought in on the second 
night of the session. In spite of the flood of argument with which the 
country had been deluged, the spirit of compromise, so constantly 
visible in English affairs, had been gradually spreading. In the short 
discussion which attended the ^introduction of the Bill this was 
abundantly proved, the Government going so for as to confess that 
they recognised the propriety of the demand that some knowledge 
should be afforded to the country of the character and scope of -their 
proposed Redistribution Bill. This was accompanied by a pledge that 
it should be immediately introduced. The Franchise Bill was carried 
quickly through all its Btages, and read a third time in the House of 
Commons without division. Its leintioduction in the Upper House 
Was attended by an intimation that certain concessions could be made. 
What these were was explained by Lord Granville the day before the 

ii I reading (November 17). Party spirit aside, spiritofcom- 
there was indeed abundant room for compromise. The promise. 

rnment, honestly intent upon the broad issues of the controversy, 
desired to make Bure of the passing of the Bill for the extension of the 
Franchise. If thai was certain, they were not unwilling to discuss 
the Redistribution Bill, and to approach it in a spirit fair to both 
parties. < >n the other hand, the Opposition, to whom the Bill was no 
doubt originally distasteful, bad found themselves unable to withstand it. 
They had accepted its principle, but had fallen back upon the partisan 
view of the question, and simulating extreme mistrust of the Govern- 
intcntions ha I confined themselves to the demand for redistribution. 


But this was after all little more than a trick of party warfare. The 
Lords had made a great demonstration of their constitutional powers, 
but had no wish to submit to the risk of reform. Already they had 
rejected a motion of Lord Rosebery's in favour of a voluntary reform 
of their House, and had certainly no mind to enter into a struggle 
with the Commons which might have forced reform upon them 
against their will. If the one party therefore was ready to give a 
pledge that the Franchise Bill should pass, the other was willing to 
promise and even to give security that a Redistribution Bill should 
immediately follow it. It was upon these lines that the compromise 
was effected. 

Negotiations were opened between the party leaders, and, as the 
The Kedistri- outcome of various conferences and compromises, a 
button Bill. Redistribution Bill was produced. The Bill thus con- 

cocted contained two disfranchising schedules, in one of which were in- 
cluded all boroughs with a population of less than 15,000 ; in the other, 
towns with a population of less than 50,000 which were henceforward 
to send to Parliament one member only. There were a few special 
exceptions; but the effect of the whole was the extinction of 160 seats. 
The peculiarity of the Bill was the method in which these were redis- 
tributed. There had been as usual much discussion, more especially 
as to the best method of representing minorities ; but the more popular 
view was to discard all complications, and to introduce what was 
spoken of as the " One member system," which consisted in the break- 
ing up of cities, boroughs, and counties alike, into electoral areas, each 
area returning a single member. There was much difference of opinion 
among both parties upon this point. Mr. Gladstone had himself declared 
when he introduced the Franchise Bill that he was inclined to the 
maintenance of the existing divisions, by which he believed the repre- 
sentation of a great diversity of interests would be best secured. Such 
also was naturally the view of many of the older Conservatives. But 
the more moderate sections of both parties had now to count upon 
newly arisen influences. 

It was not in the Liberal party alone that divisions of opinion were 
Tne Fourth seen - Lord Randolph Churchill, at the head of a 

Party. small band of followers, recognised as the Fourth 

party, had declared his independence of the old Tory leaders, and had 
assumed the somewhat anomalous attitude of a Tory Democrat. To 
him, as to the Radicals, the "one member system" recommended 
itself. His influence was sufficient to convert Lord Salisbury to the 
same view ; and the chief point of the settlement arrived at between 


the parties consisted in the acceptance of this scheme. A few excep- 
tions to it were allowed, such as the city of London, and some towns 
of between 50,000 and 1G5,000 inhabitants. In these cases more 
than one member would still be permissible. There was also a slight 
addition made to the number of seats in England and in Scotland. In 
Ireland and in Wales the number remained unchanged. Franchise Bill 
On the 5th of December this Bill was read a second passes the 
time, and passed without division; and, according 

igreement, the Lords on the same day took into consideration 
the Franchise Bill, and passed it without alteration. 

A \;im constitutional change, comparable in its importance to the 
greal Reform Bill, was thus ultimately effected by general consent, 
after having threatened for awhile to produce a most formidable 
dislocation in the quiet working of the constitution. But this 
peaceful consummation had unfortunately been postponed long enough 
to allow of that very extension of the point at issue which Mr. 
Gladstone had regarded as so full of danger. The action of the Peers 
had forced upon the public mind grave doubts as to 

• 1 * tt xii Question as to 

the constitutional value of the Upper House. It had the value of the 
become a commonplace with the orators of the Radical u PP erHouse - 
party to stigmatise the House of Lords as a mere party instrument in 
the hands of the Tories. Its unrepresentative character, and the 
obvious legislative incapacity of many of its members laid it par- 
ticularly open to attacks of this description. The partial truth con- 
tained in the charge, and the recognition of the inherent weakness ot 
the Upper Bouse as an institution in a Democracy, had induced Lord 

bery to bring in a motion recommending the Lords to carry out a 
reform of their Bouse from within. He had found but little support, 
and his motion had completely failed. But his action gave strength 
to the genera] feeling, and the reform or abolition of the Upper House 

me from this time a part of the advanced Liberal creed. 
Scarcely had the two Bills connected with the representation of the 
people been passed, when the series of events occurred _._ ,„ 

1 1 r Difficulties of . 

winch Bomewnat unexpectedly led to the fall ot the theQovern- 
Ministry. During the whole of Mr. Gladstone's tenure ment - 

oi ollicc since 1880 the Government had encountered difficulty after 
difficulty. At the end of 1884 it seemed as if they had weathered 
-1111. In the teeth of hitter opposition, they had at all events 
produced a more tolerable state of affairs in Ireland under the able 
guidance of Lord Spencer, and hail carried considerable remedial 
ures. In Afghanistan they had succeeded in establishing a native 


Government which promised to be lasting. With perhaps an excess 
of honesty they had restored the independence of the Transvaal Boers 
under the lightest of limitations, and secured for the time peace in 
South Africa. At home they had carried to a successful issue their 
great attempt at the improvement of the representation. And, 
although they had found themselves obliged to break the European 
concert, and although England thus stood much alone in its foreign 
relations, their action in Egypt was apparently successful. After 
much vacillation and perhaps unnecessary delay, the army was now in 
full career towards Khartoum to rescue Gordon and to complete that 
concentration of the Egyptian power within narrower limits which the 
advance of the Mahdi had seemed to render necessary. 

Yet, at this very moment, any credit which. the Government might 
News of the have claimed was swept away by the terrible news 

toumf j£T~ tlmt tlie work of tlie arm y had been entirely wasted, 
i 885 - that it had arrived too late, that General Gordon had 

fallen, and that Khartoum was in the hands of the Mahdi. It has 
been already said that every step taken by the Ministry in their 
management of Egyptian affairs had been followed with jealous eyes 
and pitiless criticism. The strictures of the Opposition seemed now 
thoroughly justified. The charges of vacillation, procrastination, and 
inefficiency seemed to need no further proof. 

The Ministry was deeply discredited when it met Parliament after 
the Christmas recess ; and that Lord Rosebery should have consented 
to take office, as Lord Privy Seal (January 1885), in so unpopular a 
Cabinet was certainly an act of chivalry. The opportunity for attack 
was too obvious to be neglected by the Opposition. Immediately after 
the opening of Parliament Sir Stafford Northcote 

SirS. North- \ ° 

cote's vote of moved a vote of censure. The words of his motion 
were in themselves weak and ineffective enough. 
They contained no direct censure upon the past policy, and were 
limited to the declaration that the Government must be called upon to 
take immediate measures in accordance with its responsibilities. But 
for some time previously the Government had been straining every 
nerve to carry on an expensive and difficult war, and now in the face 
of the late disasters seemed heartily in agreement with the popular 
cry that Khartoum must be retaken and the Mahdi's power destroyed. 
It certainly appeared ill-timed to call upon them to recognise their 
responsibilities. But the words served well enough to cover an attack 
upon what was the great crime of the Administration in the view of the 
Conservatives, that it had refused to establish a Protectorate in Egypf, 


tnd had always avowed its intention of withdrawing as soon as possible 
from the country, and that even now it seemed likely that, the Mow 
once struck, tin* Soudan would be evacuated without delay. .The words 
of the vote of censure afforded, too, quite sufficient cover for the angry 
feeling everywhere prevalent that Gordon had been deserted and that 
the Government were answerable for his death. It was not easy to 
make a defence against such charges, It was impossible to deny that 
indecision had caused the delay which had proved so fatal. There 
seemed a touch of littleness in stating that Gordon had desired to act 
sin-K handed and to carry out the evacuation of the Soudan without 
the assistance of English troops. Not was it possible to deny that, 
however peaceful their intentions may have been, the action of the 
Government had, as a matter of fact, plunged the country into an 
expensive and dangerous war. Nor could they clear themselves by 
promises for the future. They had to rely upon Sir W. Ilarcourt's 
declaration, that to pledge themselves to any line of future conduct 
which must o{' necessity depend upon unknown circumstances was 
impossible, and that one thing only was definitely certain, that under 
no circumstances would they break their engagement to render secure 
the government and dominions of the Egyptian Khedive. 
The vote of censure moved by Lord Salisbury in the Upper House 
&8 mighl be expected, of a much more trenchant 
character. " This House," he declared, " is of opinion vote of 
that the deplorable failure of the Soudan expedition to censure - 
attain its object has been due to the undecided counsels of Government 
and to the culpable delay attending its operations." Then, passing to 
the future, he went on to assert that, "the policy of abandoning the 
in after the conclusion of military operations would be dangerous 
to Egypt and inconsistent with the interests of the empire." Here, 
:he defence bore an unavoidable appearance of weakness. But 
Lord Granville was probably not far from the truth when he treated 
the angry language of tie' < tpposition as a mere ebullition of party 
feeling, and declared his belief that Lord Salisbury, if in office, would 
f.llow the sun,, line .,f policy as his predecessors. The result of the 
• of censure was a foregone conclusion; it was negatived in the 
imons by tie- narrow majority () t* LL and in the Lords it was 
carried by the triumphant majority of more than L20. 

;ain that the Government had sustained a severe blow, 
and there was much talk of a Ministerial crisis; but it was finally 
decided to pay no attention to the censure of the Upper House. It 
was nevenhrl, ■» generally understood that the dissolution, which could 


not in any case be far distant, would be hurried on, and that only a 
_ _ _ few of the more important and necessary Bills be 

Bad news from x J 

Afghanistan, proceeded with. But events which took place in 
Central Asia, known as the Pendjdeh incident, inter- 
rupted this quiet process of Parliamentary death, and for a moment 
brought the nation within measurable distance of war. 

The occupation of Merv by the Russians had brought them into 
actual contact with the Afghans. To keep Afghanistan clear of 
Eussian influence was the object of both the English parties, whether 
as a Protectorate or a friendly independent Power. Arrangements 
had been made for the delimitation of the frontier, and Sir Peter 
Lumsden, with a large staff and escort, had been despatched as Com- 
missioner to meet the representatives of Russia on the spot. Difficulties 
had at once arisen. The Russian Commissioner had not made his 
appearance. The exact direction of the line to be marked out had 
not been clearly defined. The Afghans had meanwhile occupied a 
position which the Russians considered threatening, and in February 
news reached England that the Russians were advancing, and that 
the danger of collision was so great that, much to the anger of our 
Afghan ally, Sir Peter Lumsden had withdrawn into safer quarters. 
It can scarcely be wrong to connect the advancing attitude of Russia 
with the fall of Khartoum. The occupation of the British army in 
Egypt, and the loss of prestige which had accompanied the death of 
Gordon, afforded an opportunity not likely to be neglected by the 
energetic commander who was subjugating Central Asia. The hope 
that the explanations from St. Petersburg might prove satisfactory 
and avert war faded when news arrived that on the 30th of March 
the Russians had attacked and defeated the Afghan army, and had 
occupied the district known as Pendjdeh, to the south of what was 
understood to be the proposed line of frontier. 

It was a moment of extreme danger. The warlike temper of the 
Preparations nation was aroused by what seemed to be a wanton 
SusSa 1 ; With breach of faith on the part of Russia. Already in March , 
April 2i. to support the previous negotiations, orders had been 

issued to mobilise two army corps in India. Even the calling out 
of the Militia and the Reserves had been in contemplation. It was 
now. (April 21) thought necessary to turn aside the troops which were 
to have been employed in the Soudan, to commission and charter ships 
to strengthen the navy, and finally to demand a vote of credit fur 
£11,000,000, which could scarcely be wanted except for some im- 
portant war. The speech in which Mr. Gladstone introduced his 


demand for the vote of credit gave clear evidence of his own view of 
the Russian conduct, and of his determination to resist it. It was 
received in the House with unbounded enthusiasm. But at heart 
devoted to peace, and with followers much divided in opinion, his 
warlike utterances were not followed by corresponding action. Means 
were found to bring the questions at issue to arbitration, and the 
incident passed off* peacefully. Commissioners without so much war- 
like apparatus as had attended Sir Peter Lumsden were again sent to 
the frontier, and with no further friction the work of marking out the 
frontier line was resumed. The Russians however continued to hold 
the district they had occupied, and the Government thus again laid 
themselves open to the constantly repeated charge of their enemies that 
they had deserted their allies and surrendered territory which they should 
have held. The debates which arose on this incident had one good result. 
It became evident that, in spite of party recriminations, there was no 
real difference of opinion on the policy to be adopted upon the Indian 
frontier. It was acknowledged on all sides that to strengthen the 
existing frontier of India was a matter of necessity; that it was 
desirable to complete the railway to Quetta, and to hold that station 
with British forces; while with respect to Afghanistan itself all 
idea of occupation was dropped; it was henceforward an accepted 
policy of both parties to support a strong and independent Govern- 
ment friendly to Great Britain and open to its unquestioned 

Bui it was not in its external difficulties or in the assaults of its 
overl enemies that the greatest danger of the Govern- ^. . . 

1 ,,„ ,. . . . , . , , Divisions in 

meni lay. Lhe divisions within the party were the tneLiberai 
real Bource of its weakness. The prospect of a general party " 
election with a vastly enlarged constituency, of which the political 
views were an unknown quantity, but whose support it was necessary 

• ure, brought these divisions into still stronger prominence. It 
tin the Irish question which supplied the chief 
grounds of difference. It had become necessary to opinion as to 

osider the policy to be adopted in that country. Ireland - 
The ( 'rimes Act was running out, the desire for land was unappcascd, 

ry for Eome Rule was hourly becoming stronger. The adminis- 
tration of Lord Spencer had been eminently successful; his opinion 
was naturally ofgreal Weight While freely recognising the improved 
condition of the country, he considered that then- were certain partfl 
of the Crimes Act which should under all circumstances be continued, 

iffbrding a necessary means for the discovery and prevention of 


crime. The older and more moderate members of the party agreed 
with him, and the introduction of a Coercion Bill of some sort was 
resolved upon. The more advanced Liberals looked with extreme 
dislike upon any form of exceptional legislation, and considered that 
a large measure to facilitate land purchase, which should enable the 
tenants by means of capital advanced by England to become free- 
holders, was the true method of continuing the pacification of the 
country ; but many Liberals, and at their head was Mr. Chamberlain, 
while desiring to the full the extension of the freeholding class, 
thought the better method of arriving at that object, and of giving 
satisfaction to the Irish, lay in political reform, and were in favour of 
some large measure of local government. It was in this direction 
also that Mr. Parnell and his friends were inclined to move ; it was 
an open secret that they would give their support to whichever party 
opposed exceptional legislation. Attempted pacification by means of 
a Land Purchase Bill was distasteful to them. Their object was 
exclusively political ; it was Home Rule they were seeking. Once 
possessed of political power, of local self-government of a popular 
character, they felt sure of being able to mould the Land Laws 
according to their own wishes. 

The variations in the several lists of measures which Mr. Gladstone 
put forward as those with which he intended to proceed gave evidence 
of the rise and fall of the influence of the partisans of these three 
views. In the first list the Coercion Bill occupied a prominent place. 
But before long an Irish Land Purchase Bill made its appearance 
among the necessary work of the Session. Instead of healing the 
party breach, this concession only widened it ; for the older members 
of the party, such as Lord Sclborne, had grave objections to any 
measure of the kind. It seemed however as though a compromise 
had been arrived at when, after Whitsuntide, Mr. Gladstone, in sketch- 
ing the course of business, made no mention either of a Local Govern- 
ment Bill or of a Land Bill. It was at all events evident that there 
were such grave points of difference between the various sections of 
Liberals that the ability of the Premier would be taxed to the full to 
keep the party together. A way of escape from these difficulties 
unexpectedly presented itself. 

The expenditure rendered necessary by the Soudan War, the war- 
like preparations, and the great vote of credit seriously 
introduced, hampered the finances. It fell to Mr. Childers, the 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, to find some means of 
meeting the deficit, which had reached the sum of £15,000,000. He 


produced a carefully constructed and well-balanced Budget. lie 
BUggested the suspension of the Sinking Fund for the repayment of the 
National Del>t for two years. Half the required Bum would thus be 
supplied. With respect to the other half, regarding it as a lixed 
principle that the new charges should be divided equally between 
direct and indirect taxation, he proposed, on the one hand, to raise the 
income-tax from 5d. to Id. , and to equalise the death duties on per- 
sonal and real property, while, on the other hand, he intended to 
increase the taxes on beer and spirits. The Budget, although it 
appears to have been a very reasonable one, encountered opposition on 
all sides. Both propertied and unpropertied classes considered their 
interests unduly touched; while the Conservatives saw with dismay 
a sacrilegious hand laid upon the sacred privileges of real property, the 
advanced Liberals held that the increase of indirect taxation bore too 
heavily upon the poorer classes, especially as wine, the drink of the 
wealthy, was not included in the taxable articles. Lastly, the Irish 
found a national grievance in the addition to the spirit duty, regarding 
it as an assault upon one of their chief manufactures. 

The result was that the Budget on its second reading was thrown 
(>ut, and an amendment moved by Sir M. Hicks-Beach The Budget 
condemning both branches of the Budget proposition J^ e e 2fnisS- d 
was carried by a majority of 12. In the division the resign. 
I'anicllites had unanimously sided with the Opposition. But the real 
cause of the failure of the Government seems to have been the large 
abstention of the Liberals; no less than 7G were absent, many of 
whom had not paired. It is not improbable that the disordered ranks 
of the Ministerialists, in deep perplexity as to their Irish policy, were 
not sorry to find a less compromising means of retiring from office in a 
finance question of no wry vital importance. Mr. Gladstone, to whom 
the refusal to grant the necessary taxes after a vote of credit had been 
D seemed an unconstitutional proceeding, had early declared that 
the acceptance of the Budget was a matter of life and death to the 
Government. He refused to reconsider his position, and the Ministry 
at once resigned (June 12, 1885). 


LORD SALISBURY'S MINISTRY, June 24, 1885, to Feb. 

Premier and Foreign Secretary, 
First Lord of the Treasury, 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Lord Chancellor, 
President of the Council, . 
Lord Privy Seal, 
Home Secretary, ... 
Co 7 onial Secretary, 
War Secretary, . 

Indian Secretary, 

First Lord of the Admiralty, 

President of the Board of Trade, 

Postmaster-General, . 

Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, 

President oj Local Government Board 

Lord Salisbury. 

Lord Iddesleigh. 

Sir Micbael Hicks-Beach. 

Lord Halsbury. 

Lord Cranbrook. 

Lord Harrow by. 

Sir R. A. Cross. 

Colonel Stanley. 

Mr. W. H. Smith. 

Lord Cranbrook (January 1886). 

Lord Randolph Churchill 

Lord George Hamilton. 

Mr. Stanhope. 

Lord John Manners. 

Mr. Chaplin.* 

Mr. Arthur Balfour.* 

Lord Lieutenant, 
Lord Chancellor, 
Chief Secretary, 

Lord Carnarvon. 

Lord Ashbourne. 

Sir W. Hart Dyke.* 

Mr. W. H. Smith (December 1885). 

Not in the Cabinet. 

r I 1IIERE was some delay in the appointment of the new Ministry. 
-*- It was plain that whoever might be called to office would have 
„, to confine himself to bringing the Session to a close, 

The new . ° ° 

Ministry, June that he would be liable at any moment to be outvoted 
by the Opposition, which on ordinary topics was largely 
in the majority, and that the real struggle between the parties must 
take place at the approaching general election with a new con- 
stituency, a new register, and a new distribution of seats. Although 
Mr. Gladstone would not pledge himself to any distinct course of 
action, he said enough to induce the Queen, after some days' delay, to 
express to Lord Salisbury her belief that he might safely trust to the 
assurances of forbearance on the part of the Opposition which she had 
received from Mr. Gladstone, and might accept office. The remarkable 
point in the construction of the new Cabinet was the victory won by 
Lord Randolph Churchill and the fourth party of Tory Democrats. 
Sir Stafford Northcote, as First Lord of the Treasury, but without 
the Premiership, passed to the Upper House as the Earl of Iddesleigh, 


L id Salisbury undertook the duties of the Foreign Office, Lord 
Randolph Churchill became Secretary of State for India, and the 
management of the House was placed in the hands of the Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, Sir Michael Hicks-Beach. It was not till July, 
after the re-elections consequent on the change of Ministry had been 
completed, that the new Ministers were fully installed in oflice, and 
Augusl was not far advanced when the Session was brought to an end. 

In the few intervening weeks there had not been much opportunity 
for the Government to exhibit their policy. In foreign affairs, Lord 
Salisbury frankly took over the work of his predecessors, and pursued 
it with marked success on the same lines. No doubt the mere change 
of Government enabled him to act more vigorously, but it was generally 
admitted that he used this advantage with great skill, successful 
and succeeded in bringing the various harassing qucs- foreign policy. 
Hons to a satisfactory conclusion. Negotiating directly with the 
Russian Ministry, he closed the vexed question in Afghanistan, leaving 
to the Frontier Commission only the duty of marking out what had 
been already settled. He found means to remove the objections of the 
Sultan to our position in Egypt, and, aided by some good fortune in 
the death of the Mahdi, he found himself able to withdraw from the 
Soudan and continue the friendly occupation of Egypt. 

As regards Ireland it was determined, contrary to the t lately 
expressed views ot Lord Spencer, to attempt to keep order by means 
of tin 1 ordinary law; there was to be no new Coercion Bill. As a 
still further stop towards conciliation, Lord Ashbourne, the Lord 
Chancellor for Ireland, Introduced a Bill to facilitate the purchase of 
land by occupying tenants. It was an enlargement of the land-purchase 
clauses of Mr. Gladstone's Bill of 1881. Instead of three-fourths of the 
purchase-money, henceforward the whole would be advanced, subject 
retention in the hands of the Commissioners of one-fifth until that 
fifth had been repaid. In spite of the objections raised to the 
socialistic character of the Bill, and of the danger which, as was 
pointed out, lay in the State becoming the virtual 
landlord, the Bill passed both Houses without much Act, July 
difficulty, and a grant of £5,000,000 was made to the 1885 ' 
Land Commissioners to carry out its provisions. A measure for the 
housing of the poor in England, which encountered some opposition 
on the Bame mounds, was also carried. 

There were still further indications that the Conservatives were 
inclined to enter into sunie sort of alliance with their old enemies, the 
Jii>h party. The efforts of Mr. Parnell to obtain a revision of the 


judgments in the ease of the Maamtrasna murders were supported by 
Alliance Lord Randolph Churchill, and received the approbation 

and^nser- 811 of Lord Carnarvon. This attempt to destroy the 
vatives. character of the Irish judiciary, and of the late Lord 

Lieutenant's government, was not made without severe comments from 
the Conservative side, and not without much blame from the Press of 
both parties. Whether an actual compact had been arrived at or not, it 
seemed as though the Irish party was likely to receive substantial con- 
sideration for its late action in combining with the Conservatives to 
destroy Mr. Gladstone's Ministry. It was at least evident that its vote 
at the coming election could not be without great importance, and 
would be sedulously sought. 

The dissolution in August brought to a close in a somewhat un- 
expected manner the important Parliament of 1880, and opened the 
way to what promised to be a party contest of unusual severity. 

The Liberal party had been swept into office by the great wave of 
„ . „ reactton which had accompanied Mr. Gladstone's 

Review of , l 

Gladstone's ad- Midlothian speeches in 1880. Never had it appeared 

ministration. r i •, . 

so powerful, never were its prospects more promising. 
Yet the five years of Mr. Gladstone's second administration must take 
their place in the history of English politics as the period during which 
the disintegration of the Liberal party was consummated. It is true 
that the actual point of dissolution is to be found a few months later, 
at the general election of 1886 ; but. all the forces which brought 
about that dissolution of the great Liberal party were already in active 
working. Though the Government had failed to fulfil the great hopes 
which had attended their entrance upon office, the break-up of the 
party did not depend only or chiefly upon their administrative failure. 
Beset from the first by unforeseen and serious difficulties connected 
especially with Ireland and with Egypt, the Government had succeeded, 
tardily no doubt, and with not a little show of weakness, in placing the 
foreign affairs of the country in so fairly prosperous an attitude that 
their successors found little difficulty in bringing the questions which 
were at issue to a successful termination. The administration of Lord 
Spencer and Mr. Trevelyan in Ireland, aided by some stringent legis- 
lation, had been so far satisfactory that the country, at all events for 
the moment, seemed tolerably quiet. Domestic legislation had been 
marked by an achievement of no small significance, by a great step in 
the democratic reorganisation of the constitution. Though there was 
much to criticise in all this, there was nothing to discredit, nothing 
which could foreshadow the eclipse which the party was shortly to 


Buffer. Other causes of a more subtle character were at work, some 

inherent in the very nature of a Liberal party, some the product of 
Several new and important ideas which were forcing their way into 
notice as political factors. 

Every Liberal Government is at a distinct disadvantage as compared 
with their opponents. Their methods cannot fail to be _ 

rr Causes of weak- 

more difficult and less striking. They are constantly nessinthe 

hampered by their own conscientious scruples. To be * era par y ' 
at once strong aihl sympathetic is a very difficult matter. To appreciate 
the feelings and to recognise the rights of the governed, while forcing 
upon them measures which, however beneficent or necessary, clash with 
deep-rooted feelings and with rights which, if not real, are at least 
believed in with profound faith, must always be a matter of extreme 
difficulty. In the same way, in the foreign relations of the country, to 
limit the national desire for expansion to what is reasonably within the 
power of the nation to enjoy with profit, or to what it may honestly 
demand from its neighbours, without exhibiting weakness or damaging 
the national self-respect, is a matter requiring far greater courage and 
patience than to accept and reiterate the bold assertions of a people 
which regards itself as the natural master of the world, and considers 
the maintenance of its prestige as its greatest duty. A still greater 
disadvantage in the political contest is the want of discipline which is 
implied in the very name of Liberal party, Reform has many sides; 
resistance to reform has but one. It can only be on certain great lines 
and at certain great crises that the individuals who constitute a Liberal 
party can be brought to think and act in unison. There must con- 
stantly lie greater differences of opiniou between various sections of 
the Liberal party than between that party and its declared opponents. 
The last five years were unusually fitted to produce this dislocation 
of opinion. Quite irrespective of the particular (pies- speciaidis- 
tions which had made the late Parliament so constantly Jhesefiv! &S * n 
I sceneofwarm party conflict, certain far-reaching ideas years. 
not essentially Connected with part), and lying deeper than the surface 
questions of the day. had made their appearance. The imperial idea so 
carefully fostered by Lord Beaconsfield, although the reaction from it had 
1 11 the moving cause of the tall of the Conservative Government, had 
taken deep root in the minds of men of all parties. Even while repu- 
diating it. and while again and again tracing to its introduction by their 
predecessors the difficulties they had to encounter, the Liberal Govern- 
ment had been driven, at all events in part, practically to accept it. 
They had indeed with somewhal overstrained scrupulousness separated 


the Transvaal from the body of the empire, but they had been 
compelled in more than one portion of South Africa to assert the 
imperial rights. In Egypt the course of events had been too strong 
for them; they had found it impossible to confine themselves to a 
secondary position or to a short temporary occupation, and had been 
compelled to assume an attitude scarcely to be distinguished from an 
armed Protectorate. They had found it necessary to overrule the 
Government of Queensland in its hurried attempt to annex New 
Guinea, and the central Government had been driven to recognise 
the danger of colonies not only practically independent, but with- 
out common interests with the rest of the empire. The irresistible 
demand for larger outlay on the fleet and the coaling stations had 
forced the world-wide distribution of the British dominions into pro- 
minence, and although the practical difficulties in the way of any 
scheme of federated empire gave a somewhat unreal aspect to the 
movement, the man} 7 important names which graced the Federation 
League proved how deeply rooted the idea was. Those who were 
affected by it, and those to whom it was odious, were gradually form- 
ing parties, subsequently known as the "Great" and the "Little" 
Englanders. There is even less difficulty in recognising the growing 
desire on the part of the Radicals to reform or even to get rid of the 
House of Lords; while, on the other hand, there is foreshadowed the 
persistent determination on the part of Lord Salisbury to win back for 
that branch of the Constitution of which he was a member something 
of its old position, and to restore something of that influence which 
had been allowed to dwindle, but which undoubtedly the forms of the 
Constitution might still secure to the Upper House. 

Still more important than these ideas was the wave of Socialism, 
wave of which in many various forms swept over the country 

socialism. an( j l e ft strong marks of its work behind. The political 

conscience, which had been roused as long ago as the old Reform Bill, 
had now become highly sensitive on social questions. The frightful 
differences in the distribution of wealth, and the absence among large 
classes of the community of those advantages which are the very 
essence of civilisation, such as cleanliness, sanitation, and comfortable 
homes, had aroused the attention of men of all parties. The theories 
of Henry George with respect to the nationalisation of land had found 
many partisans. The separation of the working-class from the soil 
began to be regarded as a crying evil. The systematic doctrines of the 
political economist, and the system of laisserfaire which seemed to result 
from them, had received a severe shock. Men began to contemplate 


without a qualm legislation which interfered with all the strictest rules 
of the old doctrinaire economists; and Conservatives, to whom pro- 
perty and the sanctity of contract might he supposed to be very dear, 
did not shrink from advocating measures closely akin to State Socialism. 
It was indeed the peculiarity of the movement that it affected both 
parties. It is difficult to avoid the suspicion that the increased power 
thrown by the late Reform Bill into the hands of the working-classes 
had something to do with the readiness with which these ideas spread. 
However that may be, they were largely accepted as a part of the 
political creed of a considerable section both of one party and of the 
other. With Mr. Chamberlain social reform was to become before 
long the chief battle-cry at the general election. It was Lord Randolph 
Churchill, as the head of the Tory Democrats, who influenced the 
formation of the new Government and supplanted the older leaders. 

It might have been expected that these various elements of discord 
would have acted with disintegrating force on the one its effect on the 
side as well as on the other. Such however was not state of parties, 
the case. The Conservative party showed a remarkable aptitude for 
accommodating itself to prevalent opinion. It has probably always 
gathered rather round persons than principles. It has constantly ex- 
hibited a spirit of partisanship in the truest sense of the word. It 
thus on the present occasion, without in any way losing its hostility to 
its Liberal opponents, absorbed much of the popular feeling which 
would naturally have led to Liberalism, but without breaking up its 

party ties. The new Toryism, having won Lord Salisbury to its 
interests, was able to rid itself of those leaders who represented the 
older opinions of the party, and to continue its party warfare under 
younger men of the new school. It was not so with the Liberals. 
The leaven of the old aristocratic Whigism was too strong to be re- 
moved. There lay behind the party a triumphant tradition of success 
won on orthodox economic lines, with which the bulk of the party 
declined to break. From this there resulted a somewhat strange 

of things ; the great body of the Liberal party was to the full 
onservative as the Conservatives themselves. While the Tories 
clothed themselves in Liberalism, the veteran Liberals found no 
difficulty in assuming Conservative views. Thus, when a real political 
p. lint came to be decided, when the mere personal struggle which is 
baracteristic of the history of the Parliament of 1880 was changed 
to a fight in which a great principle was at stake, there was nodifficulty 
in the fusion of the whole of one party with a large portion of the 
other, and the deserted remnant sank into a hopeless minority. The 


constantly increasing similarity in the views of the two parties, except 
on one or two points, of necessity went far to change the character of 
the criticism to which the Government was exposed. Attention was 
directed chiefly to efficiency of administration. It was not the object 
aimed at, but the way in which it was sought, which formed the 
difference between the parties. But though the sources of the change 
are found in the Parliament of 1880, it was not without a violent 
shock that they were brought to a practical completion. 

For some time before the close of the session the din of the 
The approach- approaching contest had been loud. The immense in- 
ing- elections. crease which the late Acts had given to the con- 
stituency rendered the coming election one of unusual importance. 
The vote of the newly enfranchised labourers might well decide 
the contest, and in which way it would be cast was a mere matter 
of speculation. As the Irish would probably vote in pursuit of their 
own objects regardless of English politics, it seemed possible that 
they would hold the balance in their hands, unless an overwhelm- 
ing majority could be secured either by the Liberals or by the Con- 
servatives. To conciliate the Irish or to secure such a majority was 
absolutely necessary for the success of either party. These two 
necessities determined the lines on which the election was fought. 
Social legislation, especially with regard to land, and the various 
degrees in which concessions might be made to the desires of Ireland, 
were the prominent points at issue. It appeared as if on the first of 
these points the Liberal party would at once break up. 

The Radicals had found a leader of great ability and indomitable 
Mr chamber- energy in Mr. Chamberlain. In his public utterances 
Iain's views. an( | those of the old leaders of the party, such as Lord 
Hartington and Mr. Goschen, there seemed scarcely anything in 
common. In a speech at Hull the Radical leader laid down as the 
first point of any Liberal programme that an attempt should be made 
to destroy the crying evil of the time, the inequality in the distribution 
of wealth. As steps towards this, he recommended that education 
should be free, that the income-tax should be raised upon a graduated 
scale falling more heavily upon the wealthier classes, while with 
respect to land he declared his willingness to apply to England those 
more advanced laws the introduction of which in Ireland had met 
with such violent opposition. He desired that fair rents should be 
fixed by an impartial tribunal, that every tenant should have the right 
to sell his goodwill as in every other trade; and, beyond this, that the 
labourer should be made more independent by a widespread creation 


of allotments or small holdings, to be procured by the compulsory 
purchase of land. To carry out this scheme, lie upheld the necessity 
of establishing strong elective local authorities to whom the compulsory 
power Bhould be intrusted. With respect to Ireland, a process of the 
same Bort, the establishment of representative local authorities, should 
be pursued. 

Nothing could stand out in stronger contrast to this programme than 
the views of Mr. Forster and Lord Ilartington. It views of Mr. 
was natural that Mr. Forsters observations should be LordHart* 
directed towards Ireland, and that he should take the ing-ton. 
opportunity of declaring his firm belief in the necessity of continued 
coercion and his strong objection to any relaxation of the Crimes Act, 
which he said meant the repetition, unpunished, of all those outrages 
and of that system of boycotting of which he had himself had so bitter 
an experience. To Lord Hartington, equally naturally, it was the 
land question which seemed the most important. While desiring a 
free interchange of land and the destruction of any laws which 
trammelled it, he admitted frankly that he did not believe "in the 
efficacy or advisability of any proposition for forcibly or arbitrarily 
redistributing the land of this country." He clung to the old economic 
principles accepted by the Liberals. He stood in defence of the rights 
of property. With respect to Ireland, he declared himself the uncom- 
promising opponent of Mr. Parnell, who had shortly before asserted 
that the only work of the National party in the new Parliament would 
be the restoration ot legislative independence to Ireland. Such 
legislative independence Lord Ilartington declared impossible. 

With views so entirely dissimilar as those held by Mr. Chamberlain 
and Lord Ilartington and their respective followers, it seemed doubtful 
whether the Liberal party would be able to formulate any sort of 
official programme with which to go to the constituencies. Early in 
the contest, Lord Posebcry, eager to keep the party Lord Rose- 
together, had made use of an expression which became kery's views. 
a by-word. He said that while one claimed to be a Radical, and 
another a Whig, and he himself was satisfied with the name of 
Liberal, there was room for them all under the shadow of Mr. 
tone's umbrella. It remained to be seen how far the mani- 
festo of the ex-Premier, which was somewhat long delayed, would 
answer the purpose of affording shelter to his various and divergent 

It was probably inevitable that a document issued for the express 
purpose of forming a neutral platform on which men of very different 



views could take their stand should be somewhat vague and un- 
satisfactory. One question at least was set at rest — the great statesman 
had no idea of withdrawing from the political arena. He declared 
Mr.Giadstone's himself definitely pledged to continue to lead the party, 
manifesto. j^ seems strange that at the very head of the list of 

the objects which the Liberal party should seek he should have placed 
reform of Parliamentary procedure. It is impossible to doubt that he 
was already contemplating the completion in some form or other of his 
work for Ireland; and, just as he called for a majority so large as to 
free him from all restraint from the Irish party, so he demanded such 
a change of procedure as should rescue him from its obstructive 
methods. Before all, he wanted the stage clear for any legislation 
he might think it necessary to introduce. He could no longer put up 
with what he himself described as the congestion of business, the sus- 
pension of useful legislation, and the power of the minority to check 
the will of the majority. Apart from this point he committed himself 
to very little. He declared himself uncertain on the subject of local 
government, and looked for the relief of the working-classes chiefly 
to a change in taxation, by which the balance between real and 
personal property should be rectified, and the pressure on the rates 
be diminished by the handing over of certain definite taxes to the 
administration of the local authorities. On the Land Laws, his 
opinion appeared to coincide with that of his older colleagues, whom 
he evidently shrunk from alienating. He said that, though the 
House of Lords ought to be reformed, the principle of birth should 
be respected. On the question of the disestablishment of the 
Church, he was content to say that it had not yet been brought within 
the sphere of practical politics. As to free education, he reserved 
his opinion. When he came to Ireland, he carefully avoided laying 
down any line of action, and confined himself to words which, while 
they asserted the necessity of maintaining the unity of the empire, 
left room for a hope on the part of the Irish that he would under 
certain circumstances go a long way with them. "The limit," he 
declared, " is clear within which any desires of Ireland constitutionally 
ascertained may, and beyond which they cannot, receive the assent 
of Parliament. To maintain the supremacy of the Crown, the unity 
of the empire, and all the authority of Parliament necessary for the 
conservation of this unity, is the first duty of every representative of 
the people. Subject to this growing principle, every grant to portions 
of the country of enlarged powers for the management of their own 
affairs is not a source of danger, but a means of averting it, and is 


in the nature ul' a new guarantee of increased cohesion, happiness, 
and strength." \ 

Vague as it was, it seemed as though the manifesto would have the 
desired effect. Mr. Goschen, whose opinions were still more Conserva- 
tor than those of Lord Hartington, construed it to mean that Mr. 
Gladstone accepted the Liberal programme as understood by Lord 
Hartington. Mr. Chamberlain, boldly maintaining his position, and 
continuing to demand free education and popular representative local 
rnment for the purpose of carrying oui^0t>cial reforms, especially 
with regard to land, accepted the manifesto as a whole. "It was 
wide enough," he said, in one of his speeches, "to allow of the 
attainment of immediate reforms and to prepare for further measures." 
lie however at the same time acknowledged the difficulty of his 
position, and the possibility that he might be obliged to separate 
himself from the Cabinet. 

The Tory manifesto issued by Lord Salisbury seemed in many ways 
to accept as the objects of the party much the same The Tory 
things as those desired by the Liberals. The difference manifesto, 
lay in the spirit in which they were approached, and in the method 
in which they were handled. The cheap and easy transfer of real 
property and the sale of glebes were to satisfy the rising popular 
demand for land. Though some form of local government might be 
given to Ireland, the first point was the integrity of the empire. But 
the real essence of the manifesto, the real bid which it contained for 
the popular vote of the new constituencies, was to be found in Lord 
Salisbury's treatment of questions connected with the Church. 
Emphasising the danger of the destruction of denominational educa- 
tion, and of a desire for disestablishment which had been expressed by 
many of the Radicals, he raised what was in fact the old cry of " The 
Church in danger," and made it plain that as far as it depended on 
him the hat tie was to be fought principally on this old-fashioned 
ground. Meanwhile Mr. Parnell, in his turn, expressed a limited 
acceptance of the Liberal programme, but demanded Pameirsde- 
that Mr. Gladstone should state more definitely what mands - 
lie would give to Ireland; in other words, he indirectly declared him- 
self open to a bid. 

Under these circumstances, Mr. Gladstone went in November to 
Midlothian, with the intention of delivering three great Gladstone's 
speeches. Their success was very different from his ^ee^eg^ 11 
former addresses in the same neighbourhood in 1880. Nov. 1885. 
He accepted the battle-ground chosen by his adversaries, and devoted 


his attention chiefly to the discussion of Church disestablishment, the 
topic which Lord Salisbury's manifesto had brought to the front. 
From a party point of view, his treatment of the subject was not 
happy. He separated the cases of England and Scotland, and re- 
cognised that the condition of their own Church was a question chiefly 
for the Scottish people. He did not therefore treat the disestablish- 
ment of the Scotch Church as beyond the sphere of practical politics, 
but he refused to put himself at the head of the movement. This 
half-hearted and grudging declaration chilled the warmth of many of 
his warmest adherents, who were largely drawn from the ranks of the 
Free Church. But the result of his reply to Mr. Parnell was of a 
much more damaging character. He treated with scorn the un- 
authorised demand that he should declare a definite policy. "That 
must," he said, "at least wait till Ireland had spoken by the voice 
of its representatives." Upon this, Mr. Parnell, finding what he had 
regarded as friendly overtures thus rebuffed, turned savagely upon 
Mr. Pameirs the Liberal party, and issued a sort of proclamation, 
proclamation. ordering his followers to vote against the Liberals, 
" who had coerced Ireland, and deluged Egypt with blood," and who 
now, shelving for the time all real Liberal policy, were demanding 
nothing but a majority for the sole purpose of freeing themselves from 
the Irish party, and new rules of procedure for the purpose of suppress- 
ing it in the House. 

The elections shortly followed (December 1885), with results scarcely 
expected, and fraught with momentous consequences. Mr. Parnell 
had not overrated the strength of his position. Eighty-five Parnellites, 
pledged to follow him, and not one single Liberal, were returned from 
Ireland. It was plain that nothing but an overwhelming majority 
either of Liberals or of Conservatives could prevent this band of 
enthusiasts, with one object in view, from holding the balance in 
Result of the Parliament. But the elections in England did not 
elections. produce any such majority. In the boroughs it would 

seem that the shortcomings of the Liberal foreign policy, and a dread 
of what were then regarded as the excesses of the extreme Liberal 
leaders, coupled with the action of the Irish, produced an unexpected 
victory for the Conservatives. On the other hand, the newly en- 
franchised county constituencies showed their gratitude by returning 
a large majority for the Liberals. When the elections were completed, 
it was seen that, so far from producing the desired commanding majority, 
the Liberals on the one side, and the Conservatives with the Parnellites 
on the other, were exactly equal in number. 


All hope of returning to power with a free hand was lost ; and Mr. 
Gladstone, with his considerable majority in England, i re iand holds 
Scotland, and Wales, had to ask himself by what the balance. 
means it might be possible to relax a position which threatened to be 
a deadlock. At all events, he could no longer feel that he was not 
sufficiently informed as to the desire of Ireland ; the country had given, 
by the proper constitutional method, a very distinct answer. It was 
obvious that Ireland, and Ireland alone, must occupy the attention of 
ili.' Bouse, and that the great questions of domestic policy on which 
the elections had been largely fought must be laid aside. 

Irish affaire at once became the chief topic of all public speeches. 
Both parties appeared to contemplate the necessity of satisfying in 
some way or other, and in some degree, the demands of Mr. Parnell 
and his followers. Very various plans were put forward, and very 
various limitations on the power of any new Irish authority suggested. 
There appeared to be no very clear or systematic view on either one 
side or the other. But these various opinions were at length brought 
to something like a focus bv the unauthorised publica- _ 

r ■, in ^111 1 • The unauthor- 

ti< iii 1 »i what purported to be Mr. Gladstone s view upon ised Home 
ih-' subject. Although its want of authorisation was uesc eme - 
• inland, and although indeed it was scarcely consistent with Mr. 
Gladstone's position to frame any definite plan while out of office, the 
unauthorised programme bears so close a resemblance to the scheme 
lie subsequently produced, that there can be little doubt that it ex- 
pressed the opinion at that time occupying his mind; and as such it 
was generally received, tt was little short of a complete Home Rule 
Bcheme. Subject always to the necessity of the maintenance of the 
unity (4' the empire, the authority of the Crown, and the supremacy 
<>f Parliament, a new Irish Parliament was to be created to which 
the entire management of legislative and administrative business for 
nl was to be intrusted. The imperial charges were to be 
equitably divided, and security given for the efficient representation 
of minorities. 

The premature publication of this scheme was the occasion of the 
ich of the Liberal party. As it appeared to Breach in the- 
implate the establishment of an independent Irish Liberal party. 
Parliament, at the same time that it in words secured the supremacy 
of the imperial Parliament, it at once raised the question whether the 
two were compatible; and all those who were eager in pressing on the 
public their various shades of concession, but with whom the support 
of imperial supremacy was a first condition, began to draw together in 


their hostility to the suggested plan. Those who, like Mr. Childers, 
desired a relation to be established such as that existing between the 
States and the Central Government in America, or those who, like 
Mr. Trevelyan, considered that the maintenance of imperial authority 
over the police was a matter of absolute necessity, or those who, like 
Mr. Chamberlain, believed that social changes placed in the hands of 
elected local councils was the truest form of conciliation, found this 
point at least in common, that their plans afforded far stronger securi- 
ties for union than could be found in any form of independent Parlia- 
ment. The unauthorised programme however had at least this effect, 
that it seemed to offer much more to the Irish party than they could 
hope for from their late allies, the Tories. It was understood that any 
alliance (if there had been an alliance) was dissolved, and that conse- 
quently Lord Salisbury would find himself confronted by a hostile 
majority of overwhelming strength. He determined however at all 
events to meet Parliament before resigning. 
When the Houses met, on January 21, 188G, for the despatch 

of business, the most important topic in the Queen's 
Queen s *> ■ r 

speech, Jan. Speech was naturally the condition of Ireland. The 

Queen was made to complain of the renewal of the 
attempt to excite the people of Ireland to hostility against legislative 
union. "I am resolutely opposed," she was made to say, "to any 
disturbance of that fundamental law." It was further indicated that 
boycotting and concerted resistance to the enforcement of legal obliga- 
tions would have to be met by some special legislation. The policy 
of Government was thus plainly declared. The attempt to rule In- 
ordinary law was pronounced a failure, and the time-honoured methods 
of coercion were to be employed ; there was no indication of how far 
or in what respects the almost unanimous demand of the Irish repre- 
sentatives was to be met. As leader of the Opposition, Mr. Gladstone 
rose after the Address had been moved, repeated the passage in his mani- 
festo which expressed within certain limits his belief in the advantage 
and possibility of some form of Home Rule, and declared that he awaited 
the exposition of the policy of the Government, hoping that the 
question might be raised above the fight of parties, and promising his 
support to any offer he considered adequate. He entirely refused to 
explain his own views, on the fair constitutional ground that the 
responsibility for any scheme must rest with those in power. 

But it was not upon the grave question which occupied all minds 
that the Ministry was to be driven from office. The Queen's Speech 
had shown that the coalition between the Tories and the Parnellites 


was dissolved ; Mr. Gladstone's utterances made it plain that much 
more could be expected from him than from the Government; the 
Opposition was for the present sure of the Irish vote. An amendment 

on a side question, moved by Mr. Jesse Collins, and expressing the 
wishes of the Chamberlain seetion of the Radicals with respect to 
the redistribution of land, afforded the first opportunity of placing the 
I fovernmenl in a minority. 

The re-establishment of the labourer on the soil, by means of allot- 
ments and small holdings provided by the compulsory purchase of 
land by the local authorities, had formed one point in what was 
known during the elections as the unauthorised Radical programme; 
and it had been accentuated by certain resolutions of the Small Hold- 
ings Association, lately passed in London. Although Mr. Collins' 
motion, as an amendment on the Address, could assume Jesse coiiina" 
n<> form but that of an abstract resolution, regretting amendment. 
that no definite measures for the relief of the labourer were men- 
tinned in the Queen's Speech, it was regarded as an expression of 
tin- Radical views. As a matter of party management, the oppor- 
tunity it offered of putting the Government in a minority upon a 
popular measure, rather than upon the vexed question of coercion in 
Ireland, was too good to be refused. Mr. Gladstone at once took 
Mr. Collins' suggestion, and raised it to the dignity of a definite 
part of the Liberal policy. Although the idea of a compulsory 
side of land brought out in some degree the cleavage already ex- 
isting in the Liberal party, and although Lord Harrington and Mr. 
Goschen strongly opposed it. the vigorous support of Mr. Chamberlain 
and his Radical followers, and the solid vote of the Irish members, 
ensured it> success. Tin- Government was defeated by a majority 
of 7'.». Of this majority, 74 were Irish, and Lord Salisbury might, 
perhaps, have disregarded the vote had not the break-up of the Liberal 
party appeared imminent, promising to bring with it a speedy return 
of the Conservatives to office. Mr. Gladstone had indeed refused t<> 
give any indication of his Irish policy ; but his well-known opinions, and 
the support In; had received from the Irish members, Resignation or 

enCOUraged the belief that he WOUld propose methods b°ry ( F^t) S ~i. 

ot conciliation too far-reaching to be generally adopted isse. 

by his party. Under these circumstances the Government at oncq 

accepted their defeat, and resigned office. 


MR. GLADSTONE'S MINISTRY, Feb. 1, 1886, to July 20. 

First Lord of the Treasury, . 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, 

Lord Chancellor, . 

President of the Council, 

Home Secretary, . 

Colonial Secretaiy, 

Foreign Secretary, 

War Secretary, 

Indian Secretary, . 

First Lord of the Admiralty, 

President of the Board of Trade, 


Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, 

President of Local Government Board, 

Lord Lieutenant, 
Chief Secretary, 

Mr. Gladstone. 

Sir William Harcourt. 

Lord Herschell. 

Lord Spencer. 

Mr. Childers. 

Lord Granville. 

Lord Rosebery. 

Mr. Campbell- Baunermau. 

Lord Kimberley. 

Lord Ripon. 

Mr. Mundella. 

Lord Wolverton.* 

Mr Heneage.* 

Mr. Chamberlain. 

Mr. Stansfield (March 26). 

Lord Aberdeen.* 
Mr. John Morley. 

Chief Secretary Sir George Trevel.yan. 

„ „ Lord Dalhousie (March 26) * 

* Not in the Cabinet. 

r I 1HE accession of Mr. Gladstone to the Ministry secured sooner or 
-*- later the authorised publication of his Home Eule scheme. 
Meanwhile the immediate appointment of Mr. John Morley to the 
office of Secretaiy for Ireland gave a clear indication of what that 
scheme would be ; for, amid the clash of rival schemes, Mr. Morley 
was the one man who had clearly spoken in favour of an Irish Parlia- 
ment. He had indeed declared that the separation of the kingdom 

lative body so distinctly and exclusively national that the Irish 
representatives would be excluded from the imperial Parliament. 

So clear an indication of policy raised great difficulties in the way 
Gladstone's of the formation of a Ministry, and went far to com- 

foSga 8111 l ,lete the threatened break-up' of the Liberal party. 
Ministry. At once that section which agreed with Lord Harting- 

ton and Mr. Goschen declined office. For the instant the effort to 


retain the services of Mr. Chamberlain and Mr. Trcvclyan was suc- 
cessful ; an assurance that the work was to be one of examination and 
inquiry was found sufficient to induce them to join the Ministry, but 

it was plain that their adhesion was of the slightest. It was indeed a 
misfortune that Mr. Gladstone had not taken more entirely into his 
confidence those who had hitherto worked with him. Though the 
general character of the new policy on which he intended to embark 
had beeu explained to them, he had sought but little assistance in 
drawing up the elaborate and detailed plan laid before Parliament. 

It is natural to suppose that to Mr. Gladstone the opportunity 
seemed at length to have arrived for putting the finish- vniy Gladstone 
ing stroke to his great structure of Irish policy. Nor acted alone, 
was he influenced alone by his sympathy for the misgoverned 
country, or by his hearty dislike of the coercion which had been 
forced upon him. He spoke of himself in one of his speeches under 
the title of "an old Parliamentary hand." The words were of 
course used against him, and twisted to mean that he was by long 
practice a consummate party politician and nothing more. But they 
were words full of deep significance. A life of unusual length devoted 
to public service in Parliament had had a great effect upon his mind. 
He was saturated with the more dignified traditions of his earlier days, 
and eagerly desirous to see the House of Commons resume the active 
and beneficent position which he rightly or wrongly attributed to it. 
He could not forgive the Irish party for its coarse obstructive policy, 
by which, as he conceived, they had not only prevented much useful 
legislation, but permanently degraded the character of the House. 
His dcsiic, and he had expressed it, was for such a great predominance 
of one of the English parties as should enable the House to handle the 
vexed question of Ireland unhampered. In this he had been bitterly 
disappointed; and, failing it, he appears to have thought to place the 
question above party politics. He certainly made more or less definite 
overtures to his political opponents, and the words which he had used 
in replying to the Address showed that he still maintained some hope 
that the spirit of compromise which had saved other critical situations 
might again he shown. To him the voice of the Irish nation had spoken 
in the late elections, and he awaited some plan from the Government 
which while satisfying the aspirations of the Irish might justify the 
support of himself and his party. The threatened renewal of coercion 
proved the vanity of this hope. His accession t'o office transferred to 
him the duty of satisfying the Irish demands, and, warned by the protests 
from both the extreme sections of his followers, called forth on one 


ground or another by the mere shapeless indication of iiis plan in the 
unauthorised scheme, he may well have felt that it was upon himself 
alone that he could rely. Trusting to his own commanding influence 
and unrivalled abilities, he determined to produce a scheme which 
should stand upon its own merits; and in formulating it he sought 
the assistance only of those whom he knew to be like minded. But, 
however grand this self-reliance ma} 7 have been, it was not calculated 
to conciliate a divided party, or to enable him to form a Ministry from 
the full strength of the Liberals. 

Although the new Ministry was not otherwise than a strong one, 
and though it gained something by the appointment of 

Desertion of ° ° . , 

the old Lord Rosebery to the Foreign Office, it was more re- 

markable for the absence than for the presence of 
prominent statesmen. Lord Hartington, Mr. Goschen, Lord Selborne, 
Lord Derby, Lord Northbrook, and Mr. Forster, were all alike absent 
from it. And it was almost certain that, as soon as the attitude of 
inquiry began to pass into action, the names of Mr. Trevelyan and Mr. 
Chamberlain would be added to the list of absentees. And in fact 
on the very day after the introduction of the Irish Government Bill 
Mr. Chamberlain explained the reasons Avhich compelled him to leave 
the Cabinet. The name of another old supporter of the Liberal party 
was missing from the list. Mr. Bright no longer stood side by side 
with his old comrade and leader. Gifted by nature with all the 
requisites of the orator, a fine and sympathetic voice and the com- 
mand of a language singularly simple in its masculine vigour, he had 
long occupied the position of the popular tribune. His eloquence and 
sturdy Radicalism had been a chief factor in the success of many a 
hard-fought Liberal victory. But his Radicalism was of the old- 
fashioned type; the freedom of the individual was its ideal. The 
free man working out his own success by means of his own unfettered 
industry and ability was the type of citizen he desired to produce. 
Of Quaker origin,- and thus naturally drawn towards a peaceful solution 
of all difficulties, war was to him the greatest of evils. Neither the 
new doctrines of State interference nor the phantom glories of im- 
perialism had any attraction for him. Great Britain, strong in her 
own freedom, freedom economical and political, sending out into the 
world colonies to teach and to enjoy the same free principles, was the 
national greatness to which he aspired. The inheritance of the policy 
of their predecessors, the undoubted growth among both parties of 
the desire for further expansions, had led the Liberal Ministry to pursue 
a line of conduct of which it was impossible that Mr. Bright could 

1886] HOME RULE BILL 91 

approve. It was impossible that a man, who in his earlier life had 
gone BO far as publicly to advocate retirement from India, should for 
the avowed object of securing an easy access to our Eastern empire 
countenance warlike measures directed against what bore all the 
appearance of a national movement. The order for the bombardment 
of Alexandria was fatal to any further connection between him and 
the Government. He had at once resigned. Nor was Mr. Glad- 
stone's subsequent policy more to his taste. Much as he had sympa- 
thised with the demands of Ireland, much as he had contributed to 
the establishment of peasant proprietorship there, the Land Bill of 
1886 appeared to him so destructive of the common laws of justice 
and of free contract, that it encountered his strongest opposition. 
'• Little Englander," as he would no doubt be called at the present 
time, he yet felt strongly the absolute necessity of the union of the 
three kingdoms, and regarded with extreme distrust and dislike any 
attempt to establish a second Parliament within their limits. When 
the idea of Home Rule assumed a practical shape, he became one of 
its strongest opponents. The separation from Mr. Gladstone "was no 
doubt a cause of pain; he could not, he said, "bear to attack his 
old friend and leader." It was a cause of kindly regret; "If," he 
wrote in answer to a remonstrance from Mr. Gladstone on the severity 
of his language, " If I have said a word which seems harsh or un- 
friendly, I will ask you to forgive it." But neither pain nor friendship 
availed. The political breach was too wide to be bridged. It was as 
w firm, nay active upholder of the Unionist policy that Mr. Bright 
passed the short remainder of his life which closed in 1880. 

It was not for some time, during which several pieces of not un- 
important legislation were completed, that the ques- „ 

• 1 • , • x! • 1 r 11 Home Rule 

tion which was occupying the nimds ot all men was Bill brought in, 
brought forward for solution. On the 8th of April Mr. April8 « 1886 - 
Gladstone asked leave to bring in his Irish Government Bill, and 
proceeded to unfold his intentions. The Bill was to be immediately 
followed by a Land Bill, and Mr. Gladstone was careful to explain that 
tin- two formed in facl one Indissoluble scheme separated only for 

The Erish Government Bill, as explained by Mr. Gladstone, was, 
in accordance with his well-known dislike to abstract resolutions, an 
elaborate and detailed piece of work. Apart from details which as 
the scheme never came into existence are of little importance, its chief 
provisions were these: An Irish Parliament sitting in Dublin was to 
legislate for Ireland and to control the executive. Irish Peers and 


representatives were no longer to have seats in the imperial Legisla- 
ture. Questions concerning the Crown, the army and navy, and 
foreign and colonial relations, were withdrawn from its purview. The 
constabulary was, after a period of two years, to pass under its control. 
With the exception of so much of the customs and excise as was 
necessary to meet its liabilities to England, the taxation was also 
placed in its hands. Its share of the imperial burdens was settled 
at one-fourteenth instead of two-seventeenths as had been arranged 
at the Union. Securities were given for the safety of the Protestant 
minority; and the religious difficulty was met by an enactment forbidding 
the establishment or endowment of any religious denomination. The 
political side of the proposed arrangement was contained in this Bill. 
But there was no hesitation in acknowledging that the social questions 
to be solved were at least as difficult as the political. 

It was in order to meet these social difficulties that the twin measure, 
The Land Bill, * ne Land Bill, was to be immediately introduced. It 
April 16. was a gigantic system of purchase. Mr. Gladstone 

held that his legislation hitherto had been all in favour of the tenant 
and peasant, and that in the new departure now made it was the pro- 
prietor's turn to be considered. Machinery was to be established by 
which landowners could sell their property to a certain State authority 
at twenty years' purchase, to be retailed subsequently to small pur- 
chasers. The first cost to the English ratepayer was calculated to 
be not less than £120,000,000, which was to be raised by the issue 
of new stock. 

Bills of such vast proportions, and implying so far-reaching and 
fundamental a change, could not be thus thrown down 
tion to both in the midst of a Parliament not yet educated to re- 

Bllls ' ceive them without exciting extreme astonishment 

and strong and bitter opposition. Not only the Bills themselves, but 
the conduct of the Minister who had with such reticence formulated 
them, became at once the object of violent attacks. It is scarcely 
worth while to mention the suggestions of ambition and self-seeking 
which were freely imputed ; Mr. Gladstone's character and aspirations 
were too high to allow such suggestions to be seriously considered for 
a moment. Silence also is the best way of treating such language as 
men of ill-disciplined minds and flippant tongues, like Lord Randolph 
Churchill, allowed themselves to use. It cannot injure the fame of a 
great Minister, attempting though it inay be without success to grapple 
with a question of a difficulty almost insoluble, to stigmatise his plan 
as the offspring of " verbosity and senility," or as " the foolish work" 


of " an old man in a hurry." Nor arc the charges otherwise than futile 
which were brought against the completeness of the suggested change 
of policy, or against the political morality of a man who, having never 
hitherto shrunk from the employment of coercion when he considered 
it necessary, now appeared as the champion of the party he had hitlferto 
repressed. Mr. Gladstone had been compelled to work as best he could 
the constitution as it then existed, lie had witnessed the failure of his 
own efforts, and the efforts of his rivals, to preserve law and order 
without such coercive measures as no wise man could contemplate 
with equanimity. He had seen the failure of those coercive measures 
themselves, and had come to the conclusion that it was not the 
administration but the constitution itself which required alteration. 

But quite apart from these useless or ungrounded charges, there was 
very much in the Bill open to most reasonable objection. . 

J „ - Serious obj ec- 

Tlie maintenance of the unity ot the empire, and of the tionsto Home 
supremacy of the imperial Parliament, was a principle ule ' 
firmly fixed in the minds of Englishmen. There was no party that did 
not hold it, there was no responsible statesman but had thought it neces- 
sary in the last few months to declare his adhesion to it. One question 
which immediately arose was whether the arrangements of the Bill 
were compatible with that principle. Unfortunately, led away probably 
by his desire for the removal of all obstruction to English legislation, 
Mr. Gladstone intended to remove the Irish members entirely from 
Westminster. Such a step seemed to lead immediately to separation. 
Some form of supremacy might be reserved to the imperial Parliament, 
but a whole important province of the empire would be excluded 
from all shan; in imperial affairs. There was cogency in Lord 
Harrington's argument that the process applied to other parts of the 
empire would leave the English members alone as the representatives 
of imperial rule. Bui far more than any logical dilemma involved in 
the Bill, it was the character of the Irish and the Irish party which 
chiefly stood in the way of its acceptance. It was not given to 
the majority of men to feel the same faith in the good results of 
justice as was felt by Mr. Gladstone. It seemed an extraordinary 
thing to dream of handing over the government of a country, and 
with it the fate of a loyal minority who were opposed in every point 
to the popular feeling, to men who had shown themselves so violent 
and disloyal and so ready to set contracts at defiance; yet by the 
enactments of the Bill it was contemplated that the judicial power, 
the finances (with one exception), and, after a brief interval, all the 
police, were to be intrusted to the party of disorder. Were the 


securities worth anything more than the paper on which they were 
written? Would not the payment to the English Exchequer be 
regarded before long as a hostile tribute to be refused ? Would the 
powerful priesthood of the Roman Church be contented to maintain a 
position of tolerant neutrality ? Among the Conservatives there was 
no doubt as to how these questions should be answered. The ex- 
clusion of the chief sectional heads of the Liberal party from any 
share in formulating the new policy, and the consequent uncom- 
promising character of the Bill, produced from the Liberal ranks an 
answer scarcely less certain. While one section sided 

Opposition of J 4 

Tories and half unreservedly with the Tories in opposition to the 
political arrangement, another found in the clauses of 
the Land Bill a further ground of opposition. Although Mr. Chamber- 
lain had contemplated a great compulsory sale of land going hand-in- 
hand with a general extension of the authority of local bodies, he saw 
in the enormous burden which would be laid on the English tax- 
payer if the Bill was accepted a sufficient cause for opposition, even 
had he not shared, as he did, in the general objection to what he 
considered as the dismemberment of the empire. 

Upon lines such as those here indicated the great battle was fought. 
The time that intervened between the first and second reading, 
which was co-incident with the Easter recess, was employed by all 
parties in persistent efforts to strengthen their position. The adhesion 
„ , „ of Lord Spencer to the Government could not but be 

IiOrd Spencer r 

supports the regarded as one of the strongest arguments in favour 

Government. of ^ Bm A mjm Qf ^ characterj who had caYY [ ed 

out his duties in Ireland with marked efficiency, the respect lie 
inspired won still further support from his experience. His speech 
at Newcastle (January 22), whither he went in company with Mr. 
John Morley, placed in its best light the conception of the Government 
proposals formed by honest and liberal minds. After explaining how 
impossible it was to follow the old methods of government, and 
declaring the necessity of the close connection between the two Bills, 
he went on to state his trust in those to whom it was proposed to 
hand over the government. He could say without hesitation that he 
had never heard or seen any evidence of complicity in crime established 
against any of the Irish representatives ; he believed them to have an 
affection for and real interest in the welfare of their country. But he 
considered that it would be most unfair to leave to a new Irish Assembly 
the difficulties of the land question unsettled, or to leave the landlords 
of Ireland unprotected and uncared for. He concluded his speech in 


these words: " If 1 thought that Mr. Gladstone's policy would lead 
to dismemberment of the empire, if I thought it would lead to separa- 
tion, or involve the repudiation of debts, or stir up enmity between 
the various classes in Ireland, or rouse religious intolerance in the 
country, I for one should not have raised my voice in support of it. 
1 have no such fear. 1 have confidence that the Irish constituencies 
will return members to Parliament who will be faithful to their trust, 
and that among them the mercantile, learned, and intellectual classes 
of the community will be represented, and that these men will be 
ready to do their best to solve the problems before them." 

But it was probably neither on the utterances of Mr. Gladstone's 
followers, nor on those of the Tory party, whose opinions and views 
were clearly known, that the public interest was centred, but upon the 
utterances of the leaders of the various sections into which the Liberal 
party was now broken. Whether the Bills should pass or not depended 
plainly upon the amount of success attending the efforts to reunite the 
party. That the Whigs could be induced to return to their allegiance 
seemed hopeless. At a great meeting in Her Majesty's Theatre (April 
14) they had appeared side by side with the Conservative opposition, 
and had taken the lead in declaring their fixed objec- views of 
tions to Mr. Gladstone's policy ; and the action of Lord §2Sb5ElSa 
Hartington's constituents, who demanded an explana- chamberlain. 
tion of his presence there, had given him an opportunity of emphasising 
all he had said against the Bills. An organised campaign in Scotland, 
in which Mr. Goschcn and Lord Hartington were the principal speakers, 
made the firmness of their attitude still more obvious. Mr. Chamber- 
lain's action was not regarded as so certain ; but it soon became plain 
that his support could only be won by an amount of amendment to the 
Bill which the Government could not be expected to allow. Against 
the Land Bill he declared himself absolutely (May 8); nothing would 
induce him to consent to a vast expenditure of English money with 
the object of purchasing acquiescence to the Home Rule Bill which he 
regarded as faulty. This essential fault lay, in his opinion, in the 
removal of the Irish members from the imperial Parliament. Appa- 
rently if that point could have been dropped along with the Land Bill 
he might have found it possible to support the second reading. 

In his overwhelming eagerness to pass the Bill on which he believed 
the prosperity of Ireland rested, Mr. Gladstone began Gladstone's 
to give way. He was ready, only too ready for his concessions, 
own reputation, to make concessions. Things which had been spoken 
of as vital were minimised. Plans all more or less inconvenient and 


cumbersome were produced to rectify the great error of the scheme, 
the exclusion of the Irish members. The Land Bill, which had been 
introduced as an integral part of the whole scheme, and as the neces- 
sary supplement to the Home Rule Bill, was now declared to be 
separable from it ; to vote for the one did not imply approbation of 
the other. Thus, when on the 10th of May the Bill came on for the 
second reading, there seemed to be truth in the charge that Mr. 
Gladstone was introducing after all a thing which he had frequently 
reprobated, a mere abstract resolution. This view was strengthened 
when he said in his opening speech that he would take long steps to 
meet the wishes of his followers, but on certain conditions, one of which 
was that there was not to be a committee-debate (a debate on the minute 
details of the Bill) before the second reading. Such a course laid him 
open to much misrepresentation. Charges of inconsistency and of 
yielding merely for the sake of keeping office were freely levelled at 
him. He had, as a matter of fact, found it necessary to contemplate 
modifications so grave as to necessitate a complete remodelling of the 
Bill. When, on a motion for adjournment of the House, information 
was extracted from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the intention 
of the Government was to prorogue the House and bring in a new re- 
modelled Bill in the next session, the fate of the measure was sealed. 
There was no difficulty in urging the absurdity of demanding a vote 
upon the second reading of a Bill which was confessedly dead. The 
debate indeed continued for several nights, but it was scarcely to be 
expected that a majority would pledge themselves to a principle and, 
as it was understood, to the acceptance of a future and unknown 
Bill. When at length the question was put, and the strange sight of a 
Whig and a Radical acting as tellers for the Opposi- 

Defeatoftne . ° _ „ . _ ° L ., K? , 

Home Rule tion to a Liberal Government was seen, it was found 

BlU ' that 93 Liberals had withdrawn from their party, and 

that the Government was in a minority of 30 in a house of 656. Mr. 
Gladstone accepted his defeat, and, believing that he would still be 
able to maintain a majority in the constituencies, determined at once 
to place the decision in their hands. 

On the 26th of June this short Parliament was dissolved, and the 
excitement of a general election began. As was in- 
tion. July 17, evitable, the addresses of the leaders laid stress some 
1886, on one scheme some on another. Thus Mr. Chamber- 

lain clung to his view in favour of a general Local Government Bill, in 
which Scotland, Wales, and Ireland might all be similarly treated. 
Lord Hartington and Mr. Goschen seemed chiefly interested in the 


injustice and, indeed, impossibility of banding the Ulster loyalists over 
to Buch men as would almost certainly become the national repre- 
sentatives under a Home Rule scheme. On the other side, while Lord 
Spencer continued to urge that the Home Rule and the Land Purchase 
Bills went hand in hand, and that the Irish were worthy to be trusted, 
Mr. Morley defended the removal of the Irish members from the 
imperial Parliament. But, whatever the form taken by the addresses, 
the line of cleavage was really that stated by Mr. Gladstone himself. 
He owned that the Bill in its old shape was dead, and declared that 
the critical question was the broad principle whether under some form 
or other the Irish should or should not govern their own affairs. It 
was scarcely wise from a party point of view, or even for the purpose 
of obtaining the object he so ardently desired, to rest the issue on so 
ill-defined a ground. To say that his Bill was dead seemed in fact to 
acknowledge that in framing it he had mistaken the wishes of his own 
party and of the English constituencies. It might not unreasonably 
he asked, what securities Avere offered that if he was again intrusted 
with power he would not fall into some similar error; while at the 
Bame time his supporters would be pledged to vote for a Bill of which 
they might not approve, but which purported to be the practical out- 
come of the principle for which they had voted. The result of the 
:ions proved at all events conclusively that the constituencies 
were not ready, to use the language of the time, "to send repre- 
sentatives to Parliament with a mandate to secure Irish self-govern- 
ment.'* A notable increase in the Conservative ranks, and the election 
of no less than 78 Liberals who for the time threw in their lot with 
the Conservatives, placed Gladstonians and Parnellites combined in a 
minority of 113. Lord Salisbury could say with truth that the one 
mandate given was to preserve untouched the legis- Resignation of 
lative union of the two countries. So clear was the the Ministry. 
voice of the elections that Mr. Gladstone at once resigned, and Lord 
Salisbury again undertook the Administration (July 20, 1880). 

The break-up of the Liberal party was consummated, and the 
power of what has been spoken of as "the greatest instrument ot 
progress the world has ever seen" was paralysed. 


LORD SALISBURY'S MINISTRY, July 22, 1886, to August 16, 1802. 

First Lord of the Treasury, 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, 

Lord Chancellor, 
President of the Council, 
Lord Privy Seal, 
Home Secretary, 
Foreign Secretary, . 

Colonial Secretary, . 

War Secretary, 

Indian Secretary, . 

First Lord of the Admiralty, 

President of the Board of Trade, . 

>> i' >> 

Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster, 
President of Local Government Board, 
President of Board of Agriculture, 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 

Clrief Secretary for Ireland, 

Lord Chancellor for Ireland, 

* Not in the Cabinet 

. Lord Salisbury. 

. Mr. W. II. Smith (Jan. 1887). 

. Mr. A. Balfour (Oct. 1891). 

. Lord Randolph Churchill. 

. Mr. Goschen (Jan. 1887). 

. Lord Halsbury. 

. Lord Cranbrook. 

. Lord Cadogau. 

. Mr. Matthews. 

. Lord Iddesleigh. 

. Lord Salisbury (Jan. 1887). 

. Mr. Stanhope. 

. Sir Henry Holland (Jan. 1887). 

. Mr. W. H. Smith. 

. Mr. Stanhope (Jan. 1887). 

. Lord Cross. 

. Lord George Hamilton. 

. Lord Stanley. 

. Sir M. Hicks-Beach (Oct. 1888). 

. Mr. Cecil Raikes.* 

. Lord John Manners. 

. Mr. Ritchie. 

. Mr. Chaplin (Aug. 1889). 

. Lord Londonderry.* 

. Earl of Zetland (May 1889).* 

. Sir M. Hicks-Beach. 

. Mr. A. Balfour (March 1887). 

. Mr. Jackson (Feb. 1892). 

. Lord Ashbourne. 

rTlHE conduct of the Liberal Unionists relieved Lord Salisbury from 
-*- all difficulty in the formation of his Ministry. So completely 
was the balance of parties in their hands, that he seems at first to 
have had some intention of forming a Coalition Ministry, united on the 
one point of opposition to Home Rule. He is said even to have offered 
to hold office under the leadership of Lord Hartington. But the 
Liberal Unionists declined for the present at all events 

Liberal _ r t 

unionists de- to break loose from their old party ties, or to surrender 
Ministry, July all hope of a reconstitution of the party. They pre- 
1886- ferred to stand aloof, giving a general support to the 

action of the Government, and ready to unite heartily with it in 
frustrating the policy of Mr. Gladstone with respect to Ireland. Lord 
Salisbury was thus free to form his Ministry from among the members 


of the < lonservative party. But it was impossible entirely to disregard 
the opinions and tendencies of the allies to whom he owed his position. 
Indeed, the movement of national thought on most subjects had been 
so markedly in a Liberal direction, that its recognition had become 
Decessary. Ever since the establishment of the new constituency, 
active politicians had felt the necessity of securing its support. A 
party, nut very will defined but of growing importance, who were 
roughly Bpoken of as "The Tory Democrats, " had come into existence, 
and had tbiind a spokesman and leader in Lord Randolph Churchill. 
< >n many points it was difficult to distinguish his views from those of 
an advanced Liberal. He had constantly urged the necessity of 
making use of young men in full touch with the Lord Randolph 
popular feeling; and he had so far persuaded Lord chancellor of 
Salisbury to adopt his views, that he now found him- the Exchequer. 
self', somewhat to the surprise of the public, made Chancellor of 
the Exchequer in the new Ministry, and intrusted with the leadership 
of the House of Commons. 

Though this appointment may have given promise of a liberal 
treatment of social questions in England, it could scarcely fail to be 
very irritating to the Irish and the Home Rulers. Not only had Lord 
Randolph Churchill always exhibited bitter antagonism to the Home 
Rule scheme, and expressed his disapproval in violent and con- 
temptuous language, but early in this year he had visited the north 
of Ireland, and had there, in his attempt to rouse the temper of the 
Orange minority, used such vehemence that his language appeared to 
many to be nothing less than an incitement to rebellion. His visit 
had been followed bv violent riots in Belfast, which « 

• ...» Consequences 

continued to break out again and again for more than of his visit to 

a year, causing much loss of property and even of life. toBelfast - 

It was therefore only natural that when, as Leader of the House, 

Lord Randolph Churchill (August 1886) sketched the policy of the 

Government, his adversaries Bhould find a dangerous meaning in his 

studiously guarded words. He explained that breaches of social 

disorder woe to be suppressed by means of the ordinary law, so as to 

allow the legislation of their predecessors a fair chance of success; and 

thai a Bcheme of local government was to be produced applicable to 

all the four kingdoms which constituted Great Britain. 

His words were at once treated as an invitation to the landlords of 

Ireland to use to the full their legal powers, and as a „„ 

. , . i, , . , Effect of his 

promise thai the executive would do its besl to support speech on the* 
them. No Buch incitement was necessary. The Irish Irisb lancllords 


had accepted the failure of Mr. Gladstone's legislation with remarkable 
patience. The introduction of the Home Kule Bill had filled them 
with hope ; to them its rejection was not a mere party defeat, it was 
little less than a great national disaster ; yet, probably hoping that the 
Liberal party might still succeed in healing its internal dissensions, 
they had kept reasonably quiet. But economical pressure touches 
more closely than political defeat, and the condition of Irish agricul- 
ture in the face of falling prices was becoming daily worse. The 
general depression had seriously affected Ireland after the recent 
settlement of judicial rents, and the tenants now declared that even 
those reduced payments were beyond their means. On the other 
hand, it was not unnatural that the landlords, who regarded the Land 
Act of 1881 as a final settlement for which they had paid an enormous 
price, should have thought it right to insist upon the payment of their 
legal demands. In some instances they had mercifully held their 
increase of hand, but undoubtedly evictions had largely increased, 

evictions. an( j n0 incitement to stricter measures seemed needed. 

It was the tenants rather than the landlords who required support. 
But no immediate assistance could be expected. A Commission 
had been issued to inquire into the working of the Land Act, and 
until it reported, as Lord Randolph Churchill had said, the law was 
to take its course. An amendment in favour of evicted tenants, 
moved to the Address (August 24) by Mr. Parnell, had been thrown 
out. Lord Hartington and his friends had gone even beyond the 
Conservatives in their opposition to it, and in their assertions of 
disbelief in the incapacity of the tenants to meet their rents. 

A few weeks later a more definite attempt to move the Government 
was made by the Irish leader, when he brought in a 

Parnell s J ° 

Tenant Relief Tenants' Relief Bill (September 10, 1886). This Bill 
Bin rejected. proposed three things: that leaseholders should be 
admitted to the benefit of the Land Act ; that power should be given 
to both landlord and tenant to appeal to the Court for an alteration of 
the judicial rent ; and that the Land Court should be authorised to 
stay eviction when the tenant had paid half the rent. Of these three, 
the last was at the instant by far the most important. That there 
was a real need for some such measure seems certain. The 
Government, through their agent, Sir Bedvers Buller, who had 
been sent on an ill-defined mission to the disturbed districts, and 
through the Irish Secretary himself, were compelled to use their 
influence to induce the landlords to refrain from pressing their de- 
mands. Mr. Parnell's Bill however was, almost as a matter of 


course, rejected (September 27). The Liberal Unionists through 
Lord Ilartington, the Conservatives by the voice of Sir Michael Hicks- 
Beach, while acknowledging that there were cases in which the tenants 
wore incapable of paying the rent, joined in deprecating any general 
change or revision of the existing Land Law. 

Mr. Parnell had not been sparing in prophecies, which were little 
shorl of threats, of the agitation which might be expected to follow 
th«' rejection of his measure ; and it was not long before his prophecies 
were fulfilled. Less than three weeks after its rejec- _ „._ 

J The Plan of 

tion, the " Plan of Campaign, 1 ' which was to play so Campaign," 
large a part in the difficulties of the coming months, ° ct " 1886 ' 
was indicated by Mr. Dillon in a speech at a meeting of Lord Clanri- 
( aide's tenants at Woodford. There is no doubt that Lord Clanricarde, 
an absentee landlord, had refused to listen to any arguments in favour 
of mercy, and had proceeded to eviction when the tenants in their 
distress refused to pay rents which they could not afford. The 
evictions had been the occasion of much disturbance and violence. 
It was under these circumstances that Mr. Dillon sketched a plan, 
which was subsequently accepted by the National League, and pub- 
lished in set form in United Ireland. The plan was ingenious. It 
was not to be universal in its action, but to be carried out by the 
tenants of each estate on which it might be needed. The tenants 
were to organise themselves, and to agree upon the amount of rent 
which they could afford. This they were to offer to the landlord, and 
if he refused it, they were to pay it over to a committee, which was to 
take charge of it and employ it in carrying on the struggle with the 
landlord. "There is thus," said United Ireland, "practically a 
half-year's rent of the estate put aside to fight the landlord. This is a 
fund which, if properly utilised, will reduce any landlord in Ireland." 
The plan was at once accepted, but was not actually used on more 
than some forty estates. So dangerous a movement forced the Irish 
question to the front. During the recess the Government attempted 
to check it by the apprehension of Mr. Dillon and Mr. William O'Brien. 
The attempt was a failure ; for these leaders, when discharged on bail, 
continued to carry on their agitation as before. It became a matter of 
deep interest to know what line the Government would take when 
Parliament reassembled (January 27, 1887). 

Before that event a somewhat unexpected change had taken place 
in tic Ministry. Lord Salisburv had found it neces- „,_ 

. .., ., ,? , , . Changes in the 

sary to part with the eccentric and unmanageable Ministry. 

ally, with whose popular views he had hoped to Jan ' 4 ' 1887 ' 


strengthen the Government. Just before Christmas Lord Randolph 
Churchill suddenly resigned. The avowed cause of his resignation 
was inability to agree in the large expenditure his colleagues were 
contemplating for the army and navy, but there were probably other 
points of difference. In regard to the intended Local Government 
Bill and to foreign policy, as well as to the amount of coercion neces- 
sary in Ireland, he was believed to hold views not in accordance with 
those of the Prime Minister. At all events his resignation was at 
once accepted and no efforts were made to retain his services. Lord 
Salisbury was now free to attempt once more a coalition with the 
Liberal Unionists. Again the chiefs of the two sections of that party, 
Lord Harrington and Mr. Chamberlain, remained firm to their purpose 
of maintaining their position as Liberals except on the one point of 
Ireland. But Mr. Goschen, who had already given proof, by volun- 
tarily excluding himself from office, of his disapproval of one of the 
most important steps the Liberal party had taken, felt justified under 
the present circumstances in transferring his allegiance. There was 
indeed but little in the avowed policy of the Government with which 
a Liberal of the old school could not heartily agree. Mr. Goschen 

_ , accepted the vacant office of Chancellor of the Ex- 

Mr. Goschen 

chancellor of chequer. As all other Liberal Unionists declined to 
tne Exchequer. ^ Lord Salisbmyj the reC onstitution of the Ministry 
was confined to departmental changes. The Leadership of the House 
fell to Mr. W. H. Smith, with the post of First Lord of the Treasury. 
Lord Iddesleigh surrendered Foreign Affairs into the hands of Lord 
Salisbury himself, and shortly afterwards closed a life of singularly 
amiable and consistent statesmanship. Sir Henry Holland joined the 
Cabinet as Minister for the Colonies, and the Hon. E. Stanhope as 
Secretary for War. 

Much more important was the opportunity which seemed to be 
afforded for the reconstitution of the Liberal party. The Radical 
section of the Unionists could not but feel that on every point of vital 
interest except Ireland they still thought with their old friends. The 
idea was suggested, and at once accepted, that a small number of 
representatives of the various sections should meet, and find if possible 
some line of policy on which they could all agree. Hence arose the 
Conference which is known as "The Round Table." 

The Round- . 

table Confer- I nfortunately it came to nothing. Who was to 

blame, or where the rupture actually occurred, it is 

difficult to say. Such accounts as could be gathered from the words 

of the various members of the meeting were not easy to reconcile. 


1 > 1 1 1 ii is plain that the disagreements were not likely to he smoothed 

away by the utterances of so incisive an orator as Mr. Chamberlain. 
There was moreover too well-marked a line of severance to allow of a 
reunion, and probably also too strong a mistrust of Mr. Gladstone to 
allow of any terms which did not contain a distinct surrender on his 
part. Although this definite effort failed, there was constantly an 
undercurrent of effort and suggestion that some reconstitution of the 
Liberal party might he arrived at. The possibility of such a union 
had a strong effect upon the legislation of the Conservative Ministry. 

The amount of time wasted on the debate on the Address seemed 
to prove the inadequacy of even the amended rules of New rules of 
procedure under which it was carried on. Moreover, procedure. 
certain disagreeable incidents arising from the exercise by the Speaker 
of the power intrusted to him to decide when the time of closure had 
arrived, warned the House that a responsibility had been placed upon 
him which might render his position intolerable. The chief feature 
of the new rules, which were carried (March 18, 1887) after much 
angry opposition, was the removal from the Speaker of the greater 
part of this responsibility. Henceforward any member was competent 
to move the closure with leave from the Chair; the motion was to 
pass without discussion, and, if it proved to be adequately supported, 
was to put an end to the debate. Armed with this new weapon 
against obstruction, the Government proceeded to introduce their two 
Irish measures, the Crimes Bill in the Lower House, the Land Bill in 
the House of Lords. 

The Criminal Law Amendment Bill differed materially from the 
ordinary Coercion Acts of previous Ministries; it was „ . . 

. , . Criminal Law 

chiefly intended to clear the way for legislation of a Amendment 
more conciliatory character than any which had yet 
emanated from the Conservative side. To meet the ever-recurring 
unrest of the Irish, two methods had always presented themselves, 
repression or conciliation. A combination of the two had formed the 
usual basis of the Liberal treatment of the difficult problem; but 
constant failure had driven the Liberals to the frank acceptance of one 
branch alone of the alternative, and the Home Rule Bill had expressed 
Mr. Gladstone's large conception of what conciliation meant. The 
keynote of the Conservative policy had hitherto been repression. The 
rejection of the Borne Hide Bill, coupled with agricultural distress and 
the agrarian agitation which had taken form in the " plan of campaign," 
had again raised the old question in its most acute form. Even if 
long experience of failure had not discredited special Coercion Acts, 


the constitution of the present Ministry forbade the introduction of 
such a measure. A Ministry which depended for its existence upon 
its alliance with men whose sympathies were entirely Liberal except 
on the one point of the maintenance of the union, could not afford to 
follow the old repressive policy of the Conservative party ; the already 
expressed determination of the Government to attempt to rule Ireland 
by the ordinary law was generally understood as a confession of this 
impossibility. Conciliation in some form could no longer be avoided ; 
and the idea had been conceived that, under the form of local self- 
government, a sj^stem of administration might be established more 
popular and more in accordance with Irish ideas than that which now 
existed. But it appeared a grave mistake to set on foot any such 
plan of decentralisation without first safeguarding social order, with- 
out placing in the hands of the central authority sufficient means of 
protecting the interests of the minority. To establish Local Govern- 
ment under the shadow of a Coercion Act was almost a contradiction 
in terms ; and the Government, having brought themselves to confess 
that Ireland had characteristics of its own and required special arrange- 
ments, determined to introduce, instead of a temporary Coercion Bill, 
a permanent alteration in the criminal procedure of the country. The 
undoubtedly disturbed condition of much of Ireland, with the prevalence 
of agrarian outrages, was largely caused by the existence of combina- 
tions which practically set up a law different from and antagonistic to 
the ordinary law. The aim of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 
was to restrain these combinations by placing extraordinary powers in 
the hands of the Lord Lieutenant. He was authorised to declare 
leagues or combinations illegal, and to proclaim disturbed districts, 
which were then to pass under a system which was little less than 
arbitrary government. Side by side with the danger arising from 
leagues and combinations went the extraordinary difficulty of con- 
victing accused persons ; even when the evidence against them was 
of the strongest character, juries refused to find them guilty. In 
order to withdraw criminal trials from the influence of organised in- 
timidation or local sympathy, the new law contemplated, under 
certain circumstances, the transference of the proceedings not only 
to a different part of Ireland, but altogether into England. 

The Criminal Law Amendment Bill was introduced in the House 
introduction of of Commons on the 28th of March. Mr. Balfour made 
March 28, SBlU ' a good case for the necessity of some change in the 
1887. criminal law ; 970 persons were under special police 

protection, and the cost, which was thrown on the ratepayers, was no 

18871 THE CRIMES BILL 105 

less than £350,000 B year. The judges had again and again drawn 
it tent ion to the prevalent lawlessness and to the extreme difficulty of 
obtaining witnesses or verdicts. As a striking instance, he quoted the 
words of Mr. Justice Murphy when a verdict of "Not guilty" had 
been returned : " Gentlemen, your verdict is contrary to the evidence ; 
it is your privilege to disregard the evidence and your oaths." Theso 
results Mr. Balfour traced to intimidation, exercised indirectly, if not 
directly, by the National League. "We cannot forget," he said, 
•• that the League leans in part upon those dark secret societies who 
work by dynamite and the dagger, whose object is anarchy, and 
whose means are assassination." The first reading of the Bill aroused 
the liveliest opposition, and was only secured by the movement of the 
closure amid a scene of wild confusion. The second reading gave 
rise to an incident which, though at the time it passed over without 
result, made a deep impression, and, when coupled with further 
accusations of a similar nature, was the beginning of those exciting 
and dramatic events which attended the Parnell Commission in the 
following year. The suggestion of Mr. Balfour as to the character of 
the National League was repeated as a definite accusation by Colonel 
Sa undcrson, the leader of the Ulster Unionists. He declared that 
the Executive Committee of the Land League contained in it treason- 
able persons and murderers, and that Mr. Parnell and his friends were 
aware of it. Both Mr. Healy and Mr. Sexton gave Colonel Saunderson 
the lie direct, and after much dispute the accusation was withdrawn. 
A few days afterwards (April 18) there appeared in the Times what 
purported to be a facsimile letter of Mr. Parnell, dated 
May 15, 1882, which, if it had been genuine, seemed ing-ofthe 
to prove that he had countenanced the murder of Mr. Crimes Bm - 
Burke. Mr. Parnell declared the letter to be a forgery, and reiterated 
his disapproval of the murder in the strongest terms. Immediately 
after this denial the second reading of the Bill was passed. 

In Committee the opposition was continued with even greater ve- 
hemence. Every word in the Bill produced amendments pushed to 
division, until at length, on the 10th of June, Mr. W. II. Smith moved 
and carried that, the Bill having already occupied thirty-five days, the 
remaining clauses should be put to the House without debate, unless 
the Committee had completed its work by ten o'clock on the 17th of 
June. At the fatal hour, the Committee having only reached the 6th 
clause, Sir Charles Russell, who was speaking, was interrupted, and 
the remaining clauses were immediately passed without division. The 
Irish members protested by rising in a body and marching out of the 


House. A similar scene attended the closure of the debate at the 
Report stage ; but, as is usual in the case of such protests, the only- 
result was the comparative ease with which all amendments were 
rejected ; and, on the 18th of July, the Bill passed into law. 

Hand-in-hand with this stringent Bill went a remedial measure, in- 
T ■>■»«! • 4. troduced in the House of Lords on the 31st of March. 

Land Bill intro- 
duced, March There was a tolerable consensus among the various 

sections of the Unionists in favour of largely increasing 
the purchase clauses of the previous Land Acts. The dual ownership, 
called into general existence by Mr. Gladstone's legislation, was 
regarded as the chief cause of the tenants' discontent ; its destruction, 
and the substitution of small holdings in full property, was the object 
to be aimed at. This had indeed been the object of Mr. Gladstone's 
last unfortunate Land Bill. The chief objection urged against that 
Bill had been the risk run by the English taxpayer of being called 
upon to pay an enormous sum; some method had therefore to be 
found by which this risk could be avoided. But, while this method 
was being discovered and formulated, there were other evils demand- 
ing instant attention, and it was to these that the Land Bill of the 
present session was directed. 

The report from Lord Cowper's Commission, for which the Govern- 
ment had been waiting, had now arrived. It proved to be in favour 
of a revision of the judicial rents on the ground of the recent change 
in agricultural prices. This conclusion the Government rejected ; they 
declined to touch what they called the sanctity of contract, or to 
disturb what had been intended for a final settlement. But in their 
Bill they made several concessions ; leaseholders, hitherto excluded, 
were to be allowed to seek a judicial revision of their rents; long' 
leaseholders who had sub-let their lands were to be permitted to 
break their leases if their tenants' rents were reduced; an evicted 
tenant might be allowed to remain as a caretaker ; the landlord who 
could get no rent was to be exempted from the payment of rates; 
and finally, what was most important and was supposed to satisfy the 
claims of those whose rents were too high, the County Courts were 
to be given an equitable jurisdiction, the right of allowing time for 
payment, and the right even of relieving the applicant of all his 
debts and making him a bankrupt. The Bill, being thus one of con- 
cession, and confessedly confined to remedy certain 
carried, Aug. difficulties arising from the legislation of 1881, encoun- 
e, 1887. tered but slight opposition. Its third reading was 

carried in the House of Commons on August 6, 1887. It was however 

18871 THE LAND BILL 107 

1'iit little liked bj the Liberal Unionists. The chief objections they 
found in the Bill were the omission of all power of revision of the 
judicial rents, and the clause which gave the County Courts the 
power of relieving an applicant of his arrears only by making him a 
bankrupl : such an extreme step would no doubt afford him some sort 
of relief, hut at the cost of an undeserved loss of self-respect. To 
these objections Mr. Chamberlain had given expression in the Lower 
Bouse, and the feeling of disapproval was so strong, that when the 
Bill came to the Upper House, Lord Salisbury found it necessary to 
make several serious changes in it, some of which seemed to touch 
even the principle of the Bill. On both the chief points of disagree- 
ment the Government gave way. The clause with regard to bank- 
ruptcy was given up, and under certain limited conditions the revision 
of judicial rents by the Land Court was allowed. Such serious 
modifications were a practical surrender to the demands of the Liberal 
Unionists. So strongly was this felt by the Irish landlords, that they 
spoke of the acceptance of the amendments as nothing less than an 
act of betrayal on the part of the Conservative Government. 

The Criminal Law Amendment Act in the hands of Mr. Balfour, 
who, on the 5th of March, had succeeded Sir Michael „ „ ._ 

Mr. Balfour as 

Hicks-Beach as Chief Secretary for Ireland, was not Irish secre- 
allowed to remain a dead letter. Indeed, activity was tary ' 
almost forced upon him. The language of Mr. Davitt at Bodykc, 
where, while supporting the Plan of Campaign, he blamed his party 
for the moderation of their demands, was a direct challenge to the 
Government A proclamation was at once issued, placing Ireland 
under the Crimes Act; and on Mr. W. O'Brien, as editor of United 
Ir, land, continuing to encourage the people in opposition to the 
police, the National League was declared by the Lord Lieutenant 
to be a "dangerous association." A regular war between the 
Nationalists and the Administration was thus begun. Again and 
again meetings were proclaimed as illegal, again and again they 
were held in spite of the proclamation. Nor was the disturbance 
confined to the Irish. English sympathy was excited by the apparent 
violence of the Administration, and a certain number of the more 
1 Radicals threw themselves vehemently into the movement, and 
frequently attended and even addressed the illegal meetings. On 
the 9th of September a peculiarly disastrous collision Micheistown. 
took place between the people and the police at sept. 9, 1887. 
Micheistown. There Mr. I >'Brien and other leaders had been summoned 
before the petty sessions. Though they did not appear, the judicial 


proceedings were carried on, and warrants issued for their arrest. No 
sooner was this known than a wild popular meeting was held, the people 
coming in from all the country round and giving an enthusiastic recep- 
tion to Mr. Dillon, who was accompanied by Mr. Labouchere and 
other English members of Parliament. It had always been the policy 
of the Irish leaders to allow without objection the presence of a 
Government reporter at their meetings. In the present instance the 
reporter arrived late, tried to force his way through the closely packed 
crowd to the platform, and called upon a strong body of police to assist 
him. Their presence, and perhaps their roughness, roused the anger 
of the people ; the police were unable to effect their object, and were 
driven back to their barracks. They there, either in fear or anger, fired 
upon the crowd with fatal result, and were only extricated from their 
awkward position with great difficulty, and chiefly by the efforts of 
the Irish leaders. The Coroner's jury brought in a verdict of wilful 
murder against the inspector and three of the constables ; but in spite 
of this they were not prosecuted. The event remained as an evil 
memory of coercion unsuccessfully attempted, and of the processes 
of laAV set at nought by the authorities. Meanwhile the war, if it may 
be so called, went on. Of the illegal meetings the most important 
was one at Woodford, where the troops and police were evaded, and 
the meeting held at night after the people had apparently dispersed. 
At the end of October Mr. O'Brien, Mr. Sullivan, and 

Imprisonment _„, . _. , * , , ' , 

of w. O'Brien, Mr. Wilfred Blunt were apprehended, convicted, and 
imprisoned. An unseemly quarrel then arose between 
Mr. Balfour and Mr. O'Brien as to the wearing of prison clothes, a 
quarrel ridiculous enough in itself, but of real interest as showing that, 
in the eyes of Government, offenders under the new Criminal Law 
Amendment Act were not regarded as political prisoners, but as 
ordinary law-breakers. 

These violent scenes, and the disaffection of the Irish, were a 
The Jubilee, melancholy blot upon the satisfaction which should 
June 21, 1887. j iave m arked the year of the Queen's Jubilee. In 
many respects the nation had good cause for congratulation ; and the 
august lady, whose fiftieth year of sympathetic rule was being cele- 
brated, might well look back with satisfaction upon the constant 
growth of her dominions, their advance in wealth, the increased 
stability of their institutions resting on an ever-widening basis, and 
the brilliant intellectual and scientific life which had marked her reign. 
The enthusiastic love of her people, the personal kindliness and affec- 
tion with which she was regarded by all her subjects, exhibited as it 

1887 J THE JUBILEE 109 

was in the thronging crowds attending the various state functions in 
which she took a part during the Jubilee week, constituted in one 
respect their chief value. From a political point of view they were 
equally valuable as giving outward expression to the strong under- 
current of a desire for some closer connection between the various 
branches of the empire, so keenly felt at this time. Not only did 
the presence of Indian Princes and Colonial Governors at the State 
celebrations tell of the vast extension of the British empire, but the 
imperial idea (in spite of the unquestioned difficulties which lay in its 
way) seemed to have taken a first step towards realisation in the 
Colonial Conference held under the presidency of Sir Henry Holland, 
and in the establishment of the Imperial Institute as a great memorial 
of the Jubilee. The Conference was called upon to discuss many 
Bubjecta of imperial interest, and to suggest points of contact between 
the scattered parts of the empire. Diverse though the interests in- 
volved necessarily were, Lord Salisbury, in his address to the assembled 
representatives, was able at least to urge the need of mutual defence 
in face of the growing desire for expansion visible in other nations. 
Subsequent events have shown that the Prime Minister was right in 
confining himself to that point. Such changes as are involved in the 
formation of a great federal empire are of slow development. The 
attempt to treat them as though they were already made, and to 
create a single great central exchange of literary, economical, and 
scientific ideas for the empire, as though the unification of its 
scattered parts was already effected (and nothing less than this was 
the intended object of the Imperial Institute), proved premature. 
The spirit of imperialism however, recognised at the Jubilee and in 
the incidents which attended it, has lived on, and yearly acquires 
fresh force. 

The closing of the Parliamentary session in this and in subsequent 
years afforded no respite to political discussion. An „ ,. . , 

1 <* i i r Political 

opportunity was on the contrary afforded for more speeches in the 
unrestrained expressions of opinion. Oration followed receS8, 
oration in unending procession, with a ceaseless reiteration of the old 
arguments. The persistency of the Irish question, the angry temper 
which it excited, the rude personalities and the perversities of party 
spirit which attended it, were seriously interfering with the proper 
course of national legislation, and threatened to lower the whole 
standard of public life. A tone of political rancour and animosity, 
DOl often seen in English politics, had made its appearance. The 
Unionist seceders from the Liberal party, feeling the necessity of 


vindicating their position, were unresting in their assaults upon their 
former leader. Bitter attack produced bitter reply, directed for the 
most part against Mr. Chamberlain, the head of the Radical wing of 
the Unionists. The line which separated them from their old friends 
seemed but slight; even as late as February 28, 1889, Mr. Chamber- 
lain in the House called upon the Liberals to formulate their policy 
of conciliation in resolutions containing the main points at issue, 
and said that it was not impossible that he might accept them ; and 
as Mr. Gladstone frequently declared himself ready to make consider- 
able alterations in his late Home Rule scheme, it is difficult to see why 
the acrimonious dispute should have continued, had not men's minds 
been distorted by personal antipathy and by exaggerated party spirit. 

But, indeed, these two great statesmen were entirely antipathetic. 
_. . . The overmastering sentiment, the high humanitarian 

Gladstone and , ° , ' ° 

chamberlain morality, the wide — it may almost be called cosmo- 
politan — view of politics which characterised the older 
man, were wanting in Mr. Chamberlain, were even repugnant to his 
essentially practical mind. His position as a Radical member of a 
Conservative majority, although difficult and at first sight inconsistent, 
was perfectly in accordance with his real character. Thoroughly 
radical in the reforms he wished to produce, he had already declared 
himself in favour of free education; and he was eagerly bent upon a 
widespread system of local government that should place in the 
hands of the people the management of their own affairs. But by 
nature and by early training he was a keen and self-asserting business 
man. A bargain with him was a sacred thing, a refusal to pay a legal 
demand involved bankruptcy ; and he would listen to no lessening of 
legally accumulated arrears, or of revised judicial rents which did not 
carry with them this necessary consequence. A certain dictatorial 
habit of mind, serving well to support a firm attitude in business 
negotiations, made any idea of yielding to clamour repugnant to him. 
And, before all, he had already conceived and declared in many public 
utterances his wfdespreading imperial views. His chief objection to 
Home Rule is well summed up in his own words : " It is a strange 
form of patriotism to a great empire, to wish to break it in pieces." 
He was thus a Unionist of the Unionists, a Radical in English politics, 
and a would-be Liberal in Irish politics if only the Irish would do as 
they were told and would consent to take the things they really 
wanted without any dislocation of the central authority. A Radical, 
a masterful Imperialist, his influence in subsequent years on English 
politics was destined to be paramount. 

1887] TWO STATESMEN ill 

On the Other hand, it cannot be denied that Mr. Gladstone laid 
himself open to the attacks levelled against him. While _, _ . 

1 . Y i Gladstone a 

upholding his opinions on wide principles oi statesman- speeches on 
■hip, and declaring his willingness to forego all the 
objectionable features of his late scheme, he declined to give even the 
outlines of any new definite {dan. He thus certainly gave an opening 
for mistrust, "I* which his opponents took full advantage. Unfortunately 
also he allowed himself to be carried away by his overwhelming eager- 
ness, and made use of expressions which could easily be distorted into 
assertions in favour of lawlessness. Thus, at the great Liberal Confer- 
ence at Nottingham, in October 1887, while distinctly declining to lay 
down any definite plan of action, he went so far as to state that he 
would not allow any proposals he had previously made, or any opinions 
he had held, to stand in the way of the settlement of the great question. 
'• I think it is a wide pledge that I give in saying that neither as to 
the retention oi Irish members ; nor as to the use of the imperial credit 
in the purchase of Irish land; nor as to the delegation instead of 
surrender of power to the Irish Parliament; nor as to the mode of 
action and the particulars or the times under which the administrative 
Bystera is to be altered from one that is English and anti-national in 
spirit to one that is Irish and national in spirit; — to the whole of those 
proposals the declaration I have made applies. And rely upon it, 
that neither I nor any infirmities of mine will stand in the way of a 
settlement desired by the two countries." Yet at the same meeting, 
in an earlier speech, he had made a bitter attack on the administration 
of the law in [reland ; he had not scrupled to accuse the police of 
acting with illegality and brutality; he even implied that they had 
been guilty of conspiring for the murder of innocent men; he had 
declared that the disastrous riot at Michelstown must not be forgotten, 
but must be repeatedly mentioned, " with a view to the formation of 
a Bound opinion in England, in order that the pestilent declarations 
of Mr. Balfour may not be adopted, as they might be with great 
excuse, by subordinate agents, and may not be a means of further 
invasion of Irish liberty or possibly of further destruction of Irish 

Words such as these were certainly open to the charge freely brought 
against them that thev were incitements to lawlessness: . 

' Imprudence of 

and the wisdom of such rhetorical denunciations of the Gladstone's 
police might well be questioned in view of the dis- speec 
turbed feeling prevalent among a portion of the lower classes in 
England at this time, and of such demonstrations of the spirit of 


disorder as had been given by the riots in Trafalgar Square in February 
1886, and again in October 1887. 

For some months meetings of Socialists and of men out of work, 
Trafalgar either bond fide unemployed or men drawn from 

square Riots, that lowest stratum of society which is permanently 
unemployed at its own desire, had*been held in 
Trafalgar Square. Encouraged by the vacillating action of Sir Charles 
Warren, head of the Metropolitan police, at one time positively for- 
bidding access to the Square, at another as hastily withdrawing his 
prohibition, the Socialists and unemployed had renewed their meet- 
ings. Disorderly crowds had marched to the Mansion House, and 
only a few days before Mr. Gladstone's speech at Nottingham had 
pushed their way into Westminster Abbey (October 16). The conflict 
between the forces of disorder and of order reached a climax on 
Sunday, November 13, 1887. Under colour of protesting against the 
imprisonment of Mr. W. O'Brien, and for the purpose of testing their 
disputed right, the Radical leaders called a meeting; and, in spite of 
the prohibition of Sir Charles Warren, processions from all parts of 
London converged upon Trafalgar Square. With much serious right- 
ing and free use of their truncheons, the police, who had occupied 
the Square in the early morning, succeeded in maintaining their posi- 
tion. But so dangerous was the crisis, that it was found necessary to 
call out the troops and prepare for reading the Riot Act. No lives 
were lost, but many serious injuries were inflicted on both sides. 
Several of the more prominent assailants were arrested, among them 
Mr. John Burns, and Mr. Cunninghame Graham, a member of Parlia- 
ment. The result of the contest was however regarded as uncertain, 
and the popular leaders determined to repeat, on the following Sunday, 
their effort to test the right of meeting. Misled by Mr. Gladstone's 
eloquence, they applied to him to sanction their proceedings. Their 
application, as they might have expected, produced a clear declaration 
that the duty of the citizen was to respect the officers of the law, 
whether well or ill advised. This reply, removing all doubt as to the 
sympathy of the Liberal leader, induced them to change their place 
Hyde Park °f assembly to Hyde Park. Yielding to a somewhat 

meeting. groundless panic, the Home Office summoned 30,000 

special constables to the assistance of the police. A comparatively 
small number volunteered but proved quite sufficient, and the day 
passed off quietly. 

The imprisonment of Mr. John Burns and Mr. Cunninghame Graham, 
and the desire attributed to the Ministry of putting unconstitutional 


limits to the righl of free meetings, formed fruitful topics of discussion. 
]»ut the common-sense view that the orderly traffic of the streets should 
noi be interrupted, and that the police were properly charged with the 
duty of securing it, prevailed. In spite of a vague socialistic sentiment, 
the deeply rooted conservatism of all classes of Englishmen- did not 
allow of any serious growth of revolutionary theories, and before long 
the agitation ceased. No doubt it had had its effect; unusual theories 
of society were listened to with greater respect, and more attention 
was paid to the advantages which might be derived from social legis- 
lation. But for the most part the form which these aroused feelings 
took was connected with the facts which had allowed the socialist 
theories to make themselves heard, rather than with the theories them- 
Belves, Men's minds became full of the necessity of ameliorating the 
condition of the poor and the unemployed. A committee of important 
people was formed to consider it, under LordCompton ; _ 

1 / . . P , . . ..... Deputation to 

and a deputation Irom tins committee consisting of such Lord Salisbury, 

leading meu as Lord Herschell, Cardinal Manning, and Feb1888 - 

the Bishop of Bedford, waited on the Prime Minister to discuss the 

question [February 1, 1888). It is much to Lord Salisbury's credit 

that, fully awake as lie was to the sufferings of the poor, he was strong 

enough to resist the pressure of sentiment, and to declare clearly that, 

though the objects of the deputation met with his deepest sympathy, 

convinced thai "any attempt on the part of the State to step 
into the place of the employer would only result in producing more 
frightful and permanent misery than it was designed to remedy." 
This position he maintained and reasserted two years later. The 

for BOcial amelioration continued steadily to increase; it in- 

. and, to judge by the abortive Bills introduced, and 

the occasional suggestions of individual members of Parliament, there 

was a widespread demand for the legislative regulation of many matters 

hitherto regarded as better left to individual management. 

The unending dispute between labour and capital, the apparently 
insoluble difficulty of bringing under one head the advantage of em- 

and employed, were specially prominent at this time. The 

and 1890 were full of the sounds of this industrial war. 

Strikes, some of which threatened the most necessary processes of 

re of constant occurrence. At one time it seemed as though 
the supply of coal might be stopped, at another that London might be 
in darkness from the want of gas, or that the crowded traffic of the 

might be dislocated by a strike of all the omnibus-drivers. 
L\en the civil services were affected, and signs of organised 



insubordination were seen both in the Police and in the Post-office. 
But by far the most important of all the many strikes was that of the 
Dock strike, London dock labourers in August 1889, not only because 
1889 - it seemed for a time to threaten the very existence of 

the port of London, but chiefly as being the first great attempt to 
organise unskilled labour. There could be no question as to the 
miserable condition of the dock labourers. The element of uncer- 
tainty, which is the chief hardship of the labourer's life, was felt by 
them in an exaggerated form. Except a limited number who were 
engaged as permanent servants of the company, the great body of 
dock labourers were never sure of employment for a day or an hour 
together. Crowded together at the entrance to the docks in numbers 
far beyond the ordinary requirements, they awaited any scraps of work 
which the arrival of a ship or any temporary exigencies of the docks 
might throw in their way. Even when employed their pay was but 
5d. an hour. For some years, under the intelligent leadership of two 
dock labourers, Benjamin Tillett and Thomas Mann, they had been 
gradually learning that only by organisation could they hope to improve 
their condition. At length, on the 13th of August, a general strike took 
place in all the docks. Their chief demands were for the addition of 
a penny an hour to their wages, and the assurance that, if engaged at 
all, they should not receive less than 2s. All kinds of workmen em- 
ployed in the docks joined in the movement, until the strikers numbered 
nearly 100,000, and the work came to a complete standstill. In some 
instances the merchants and their clerks performed the absolutely 
necessary duties. An amalgamation which had lately taken place 
brought the men face to face with a joint committee of all the great 
dock companies at once. This committee was willing to agree to the 
minimum wage of 2s., but refused to listen to further claims. For 
nearly five weeks the struggle continued. The loss to all parties 
was enormous, the suffering of the wretched dock labourers and their 
families can scarcely be exaggerated. At length a committee of 
volunteer sympathisers, including the Lord Mayor, the Bishop of 
London, and Cardinal Manning, succeeded in arriving at some sort 
of compromise, by which the chief claims of the men were satisfied. 
It was a terrible incident in the great industrial war ; but its im- 

portance is chiefly to be found in the sympathy 
sympathy with with which the strikers were regarded by the public, 

and in certain indications in it which seemed to 
threaten a general combination of labour against capital. The sub- 
scriptions received, not only from England, but from the Colonies, 

1890] THE DOCK STRIKE 115 

were bo large that, after satisfying all claims to compensation, the 
Strike Committee are said to have had £5000 left in their hands. 
In tin- height of the struggle a manifesto was issued, definitely 
calling upon all classes of workmen to make common cause with 
the strikers; there seemed for the moment a chance of a general 
breakdown of the existing social system. It is greatly to the credit 
of the men thai little or no outrage was committed, and to the credit 
of the administration that the police were carefully held aloof from 
the quarrel. In spite of the very threatening symptoms in all parts of 
England, employers and employed settled their differences among 
themselves, and the decisions of the general meeting of Trades 
Unions held at Dundee in the autumn of 1889 seemed to show that 
the anti-socialist feeling of these Unions was still paramount. An 
inquiry sent out by the Dundee Congress to discover the opinion of 
workmen as to legislative establishment of an eight hours' day received 
only a limited number of answers, but of these the large majority 
were in the negative. 

Yet the effect of the dock strike was remarkable. It led to the 
establishment of what is known as the New Unionism, New Union- 
which differed from the principles on which Trades ism, isqo. 
Unions had hitherto rested, by acknowledging the claims of unskilled 
labour and recognising the solidarity of the interests of the whole 
working-class, whether artisan or agriculturalist. And with this went 

tteral feeling, not confined to the working-class, in favour of 
municipal or legislative interference, some approach in fact to State 
BOCiali8UL This was strikingly illustrated in the Trades Union Con- 

3 of the following year, 1890, by the changed tone of the leaders 
and the Btress that was laid on municipal action; and it found a 
practical expression in Parliament in the proposal to fix an eight 
hours 1 day, at all events for work in the coal mines. Both Lord 
Randolph Churchill and Mr. Chamberlain made declarations which 

ted to imply that the interference of the State in such questions 
might under certain circumstances be allowed. But again Lord 

bury Bel bis face against all legislative! interference, and, in his 

ch at Guildhall in November 1890, strongly deprecated all inter- 
fere I 11 capital and labour, lie threw scorn on the Light 
Hours 1 Bill and all similar hindrances to individual freedom, which 
would only frighten capital away from England and settle it elsewhere. 
The workmen would be the first to Buffer, " on whose behalf unwise 
theorists and timid OI interested politicians were preaching various 
arrangements sued as the modern world bad never seen, and which 


savoured of the darkest superstitions by which industries were ever 

In these lengthened disputes affecting the distribution of property, 

Lord Salisbury had consistently maintained his Con- 
the Liberal servative attitude ; yet the whole course of his policy 

was profoundly influenced by the alliance into which 
he had been forced. It was indeed impossible for a Minister, who 
owed his tenure of power to the support of those who had long been 
his most active opponents, to avoid making very important concessions. 
Lord Salisbury frankly admitted that this was the case. At a meeting 
of the party held at Liverpool as early as January 11, 1888, he had 
warned his Tory supporters that they must expect to find a strong 
tinge of Liberalism in the propositions of the Government, and urged 
them, fur the sake of the great imperial object which he and they 
alike had in view, to consent to some necessary compromise. This 
confession of their leader was of the deepest significance, for it implied 
the almost complete disappearance of the old Conservative party. It 
became constantly more evident that all possibility of the reunion of 
the fragments of the old Liberal party was passing away, and that 
an alliance so firm as that which bound the Liberal Unionists to the 
Conservatives must sooner or later lead to a complete fusion. It 
was impossible to suppose that the self-denial exercised by Lord 
Hartington and his friends would last for ever, or that men of such 
leading character could be permanently excluded from the Government. 
Already one of the most distinguished representatives of the Conservative 
wing of the Liberal Unionist party had found it possible to cross the 
line and join the Government. But though the transference of Mr. 
Goschen's great ability to the government side of the House marked 
tire formal alliance of the Liberal and Conservative Unionists, a more 
practical and combative ally was found in Mr. Chamberlain, hitherto 
the leader of the advanced Radicals. It was not without surprise that 
he was seen to adopt a line of conduct apparently in contradiction to 
all his previous political life; yet this surprise, natural though it was 
at the time, was not wholly well grounded. With one section of the 
party included under the general name of Conservative, his energetic 
and constructive character was in no way at variance ; the young Tory 
Democrats were almost as eager as he was for practical reforms ; the 
Radical leaven found in them a ready-made material on which to work. 
It appeared certain that, sooner or later, room must be found in the 
Unionist Ministry for Mr. Chamberlain. Meanwhile, the views which he 
represented influenced the action of the Government so largely, and its 


measures were In themselves of so Liberal a tendency, thai the 
opposition they encountered was seldom based upon principles, but 
consisted in criticism of methods and details, and was exercised in a 
spirit of party which it is difficult not to stigmatise as perverse. 

It was in his recognition of the necessity of not merely an alliance 
l»nt a fusion with his late opponents, and the skill with „. ,«.„,. 

11 Lord Salisbury 

which it was effected without any breach of party asaparty 
continuity, almost without remark, that Lord Salis- leader - 
bun's wisdom as a party leader is chiefly to be found. He appears 
to have succeeded in winnowing from the mass of party passion and 
contemporary interest the principles which he believed to be necessary 
for the conservation of the Constitution, and to have devoted himself 
chiefly to maintaining them. Fully awake to the danger of the com- 
promise to which he was consenting, he was at the same time keenly 
alive to the loss of prestige which the disintegration of party ties 
inflicted on the Lower House. He was thus led to seek in the House 
of Lords for a firm standing-ground on which to rest his policy. His 
use of the constitutional powers of the Lords, his constant employment 
of members of the Upper House in high places in the Civil Service and 
in the Cabinet, are characteristic marks of the policy he henceforward 
pursued. Looking to the other side of the question, it would appear 
to have been this very spirit of compromise shown by Lord Salisbury, 
and the readiness with which he accepted the suggestions of his Liberal 
allies, which imparted a curiously factious air to the conduct assumed 
af this time by the Opposition and its great leader. ,_, _ 

i , , . , . . . Gladstone's de- 

Mr. Gladstone had grasped with characteristic tenacity votion to Home 

the one great truth, that justice required the con- Rule " 
ciliation of Ireland ; that coercion, even though coupled with large 
concessions and good administration, would foil to produce this con- 
ciliation; that it was in fact to be found only in listening to what 
he believed to be the voice of the nation, and in placing trust In 
the Irish to work out their own prosperity. This conviction had 
dow become so strong in him, that no half measures, however good 
in themselves, were tolerable to him; no legislation, however im- 
portant, seemed of any value so long as the one great act of justice, 
which was to relieve England from an overwhelming incubus and to 
satisfy the aspirations of the kindred nation, was left unperformed. 
Home Rule for Ireland had in fact become his solo object. Un- 
fortunately for his party, the people of England had declared them- 
selves very distinctly at the last election. An overwhelming majority 
firmly opposed to his object faced him in the House of Commons. 


Home Rule was entirely beyond his reach. But as it was the only 
object which he now regarded as of supreme importance, his followers 
were practically reduced to a condition of complete impotence. When 
measures scarcely differing from those they might themselves have 
initiated were offered them, their only weapon was constant carping 
criticism of details, sinking sometimes to obstruction. Though powerful 
enough to render legislation difficult, they had little or no power to 
influence it. Irish policy, affording unlimited scope for criticism, and 
handled by men really in earnest, became unduly prominent in Par- 
liament during the whole of this administration. 

The words the Prime Minister had addressed to his followers at the 

Liverpool meeting were intended to prepare them for 
Parliament, the introduction of the Local Government Bill, which 

was to be the great measure of the session. In the 
speech from the Throne it was this measure, and its accompanying 
financial arrangements, which occupied the prominent place. But 
before it could be approached, there was the inevitable discussion 
upon Irish affairs, in the debate upon the Address. The Crimes 
Act of the last year had been vigorously worked by Mr. Balfour, and 
the Government now took credit to themselves for its success. " The 
result of this legislation has been satisfactory. Agrarian crime has 
diminished, and the power of coercive conspiracies has sensibly 
abated." This sentence of the Queen's Speech was a direct challenge 

to the Irish party. Though the Irish Secretary pro- 
ireiand, Feb. duced statistics showing a considerable diminution of 

crimes connected with political agitation, the improve- 
ment was attributed by the Opposition to very different causes. To 
them it was the natural outcome of the ray of hope which the alliance 
with the English Liberals had thrown upon the desire of the National- 
ists, and was by no means due to the drastic measures of the Adminis- 
tration. How drastic these had been was shown by the assertion of 
Sir George Trevelyan, that "of the eighty-five Irish Nationalist 
members, one out of every seven was in prison, on his way to prison, or 
on his way out of prison." The arrest of Mr. Sullivan, the Lord Mayor 
of Dublin, and his speedy liberation amid expressions of the greatest 
national rejoicing, the elaborate precautions taken to secure the safety 
of the leaders of the Liberal Unionists during their visit to Dublin, the 
refusal of a coroner's jury in Clare to bring in a verdict of murder 
against the men charged upon strong evidence with killing the 
head constable, Whelehan, and the success of the Plan of Cam- 
paign, of which Mr. W. O'Brien could boast on his return, after his 


imprisonment, to Parliament (February 10), certainly gave no proof 
of the triumph of Government in conciliating Ireland. There was a 
strong feeling of exasperation against Mr. Balfour among the Oppo- 
sition, excited chiefly by his determination to treat offences under the 
(rimes Act as ordinary breaches of the law, and to obliterate the 
line which had hitherto been drawn between political offenders and 
common criminals. Much anger was felt at the sight of members of 
Parliament condemned to undergo the degrading details of prison 
discipline for breaches of the Crimes Act. The large Government 
majority however remained unbroken. There seemed no possibility 
of a union between the two branches of the Liberals, in spite of occa- 
sional indications in Mr. Gladstone's speeches that he himself was 
ready to accept some compromise. As a matter of course, the amend- 
ment moved by Mr. Parnell in favour of remission of arrears was 
thrown out, and, the Address having been passed, the Government 
could proceed with the ordinary business. 

Their first measure was intended to complete the various experi- 
ments in the reform of procedure. They introduced a New procedure 
set of rules (February 24, 1888), by which provision rules - 
was made for the automatic closure of business at certain fixed hours, 
and for the prevention of dilatory motions or other forms of obstruc- 
tion, the closure being finally left in the hands of the majority if it 
consisted of more than a hundred members. 

The great financial measure of the session was then introduced. In 
the opinion of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the . 

• 1 «... <* 1 t 1 -1 r. Mr - Goachen's 

financial condition of the country and the low rate of conversion 
int. rest prevalent at the time justified an operation for 8Cheme - 
the purpose of lightening the public burdens. Following the example 
of several of his predecessors, he introduced a Bill (March 9, 1888) 
lowering the interest of a large amount of the national debt. More 
than .£500,000,000 was the amount thus dealt with. Taught by expe- 
rience that a gradual diminution of interest was likely to receive the 
more favourable acceptance, Mr. Goschen suggested that a new stock 
should be created, bearing for fifteen years interest at 2J per cent., 
and after that time at 2h per cent, which should be guaranteed for 
the next twenty years. lie proposed that a small premium should be 
given to induce holders to accept the new stock at an early date, and 
a commission allowed to authorised agents in the transaction. The 
whole saving to the country in interest was reckoned as likely to be 
£1,400,000 a year from April 1889 to April 1903, and £2,800,000 
a year after that date, when the lower rate of interesl would begin. 


The plan was exceedingly well received. The only point which met 
with much opposition was the payment of a commission to authorised 
agents. This was attacked with some acrimony as being immoral and 
dishonest ; but the declaration of Mr. Childers from the Opposition 
side of the House, that a similar plan of conversion introduced by 
himself had been wrecked by the indifference of the bankers, seemed 
to justify Mr. Goschen's action. The Bill was carried with almost 
unanimous approbation; and within one month more than £450,000,000 
of the new stock was accepted by the public. 

The conversion scheme was shortly followed by the introduction of 
the Budget. Its main points were the diminution of 
the income-tax, and an increased contribution from the 
imperial revenue in aid of local taxation. With respect to the first 
point, Mr. Goschen declared his opinion that the principle of simplicity 
of taxation might be carried too far, that the income-tax should be 
regarded as the great reserve for time of need, and that some extension 
of the sources of revenue was the proper method of meeting ordinary 
expenditure. With respect to the second point, he proposed that, 
instead of the £2,000,000 at present devoted to the assistance of local 
rates, there should be substituted a sum of £5,500,000. The exist- 
ing licences, which brought in about £3,000,000, with additional 
licences amounting to £800,000, added to half the probate duty, 
would supply the required sum. 

This large increase to the relief given to local taxation was connected 
Local Govern- with the great measure for local government which 
mentBiii. constituted the real work of the session. The Bill, 

which was introduced (March 19, 1888) and explained with marked 
ability by Mr. Ritchie, President of the Local Government Board, had 
long been expected. It proved to be of a very far-reaching, almost 
revolutionary, character, so much so that it is impossible to regard it 
as emanating from a Conservative party in the old meaning of that 
term. It marks . the influence direct or indirect of the Liberal 
Unionists and the younger men who mingled popular sympathies 
with their Toryism. The administrative power hitherto belonging to 
the country gentleman was now to be placed in the hands of popularly 
elected bodies. In each county was to be established a Council 
elected on the broad basis already adopted in the Municipal Cor- 
poration Act, by which the franchise was extended to all ratepayers. 
The members, thus directly elected by the voters in electoral 
districts of comparatively equal extent, constituted three-fourths of 
the Council, and were authorised to elect, either from among their 


own body or from outside, additional members of the Council as 
Aldermen. The ordinary Councillors held office for three years, the 
Aldermen for six. To this body was Intrusted nearly all the powers 
which had hitherto been exercised by the .lust ires of the Peace, 
with the exception of the judicial power which remained as before, 
and the management of the police, which was placed in the hands 
of a joint committee consisting of representatives of the justices and 
of the County Council. Much fear had been entertained that in 
any widespread alteration the historic boundaries of the counties 
would be destroyed; they were however wisely maintained in fixing 
the limits of the jurisdiction of the County Councils. Below the 
County Council there were to be District Councils, which took the 
place of Sanitary and Local Boards, their limits being settled by 
the County Council. The electors to these District Councils were to 
be the same as those for the County Council. Large cities, and ulti- 
mately all boroughs with a population of 50,000, were withdrawn from 
the counties, and were supplied with the same administrative apparatus 
as the County Councils, the Local Boards and other separate authorities 
being merged in the Corporation of the town. The Metropolis was 
treated slightly differently. It became a separate county, and took 
over the same duties as the other counties.- The Metropolitan 
Board of Works was thus destroyed. But the police remained in 
the hands of the Home Office, and the City except in some points 
remained under the separate authority of the Corporation. The 
alterations made in the Bill during its passage through the House of 
Commons were unusually few. The extension of the county status to 
boroughs of 50,000 inhabitants had not been originally contemplated ; 
and, much more important, the system of compensation for the with- 
drawal of licences to public-houses, which had formed a part of the 
original Bill, was omitted in deference to the widely felt fear of 
establishing once for all a vested interest in such licences. But with 
these and a few other minor alterations, the great measure, which 
entirely changed the source of administrative authority, and made 
England a self-governing country in all the lesser but deeply important 
details of ordinary life, passed with universal acceptance, and became 
law in August 1888. The financial arrangements of the bodies con- 
stituted by the Bill were facilitated by the provision of £5,000,000 in 
aid of rates, which was contemplated in Mr. Goschen's Budget. 

To the Opposition the flaw in the generally accepted plan was 
found in the exception of Ireland from its benefits. Similarity and 
simultaneity of legislation in the two countries had been part of Lord 


Randolph Churchill's programme. Mr. Chamberlain had consistently 
advocated a large measure of local government in Ireland, and even 
now he declared that he could only support the measure, confined 
in its application to Great Britain, on the distinct understanding that 
the circumstances of the time justified some postponement of the 
extension of its advantages to the sister kingdom. 

The existence of these circumstances was plain enough. There 
was no cessation of disturbance in Ireland. The 

Disturbed con- . , . . , 

dition of whole year was occupied m a violent struggle against 

the severity with which Mr. Balfour carried out the 
Crimes Act. Whatever may be thought of its ultimate result, the 
immediate effect of his action was to increase many fold the angry 
temper with which the conduct of the Castle administration had 
long been regarded. Meetings held in all directions though pro- 
claimed by Government; their occasional violent suppression; the 
inadequate strength of the constabulary requiring the presence of 
troops; the arrest, trial, and imprisonment of no less than seventeen 
members of Parliament ; the bitter and unjustifiable accusations 
brought against the Chief Secretary ; form all together a scene of dis- 
astrous disorder. Physical and moral forces proved inefficacious. 
Even the voice of the Roman Catholic heirarchy, supported by a 
very decided letter from the Pope, seemed to have lost its ancient 
power; a general meeting of the Irish Nationalists denounced the 
letter as unjust and its assertions as untrue. In spite of all that could 
be done, the Nationalist members could boast that the " plan of cam- 
paign" was successful, that on thirty-eight estates it had produced 
considerable diminutions of rent. 

The language used by the Press in its unjustifiable assaults 
upon Mr. Balfour not unnaturally provoked language scarcely more 
moderate in reply. In the severity and truculence of its abuse 
of the Irish party the Times took the lead. Its attacks on Mr. 
O'Donnell compelled him to bring an action for libel against Mr. 
Walter, the proprietor of the paper. There were 

Mr. O'Donnell's ... ■, • ^ ^ • i i • i , 

action against incidents connected with the trial which caused much 
complaint. It was pointed out that Mr. Walter had 
interviewed a member of the Government immediately before the trial 
began, and that the Attorney-General was acting as chief law adviser 
of the Times. No doubt these incidents were unfortunate, but there 
was probably no ground for questioning the justice of the trial or for 
implicating the Government in the action of the newspaper. The 
case went against Mr. O'Donnell. The accusations were certainly grave, 


but it could not be proved that he had been specially singled out for 

attack. During the trial some letters of a very damaging description, 
purporting to be the work of the National leaders, were read by the 
Attorney-General. Among others was the one, dated May 15, 1882, 
which had already been printed in facsimile in the Times of April 18, 
1887, in which Mr. Parncll was made to use expressions connecting 
him with the criminal action of the extreme Nationalists, and even 
implying a guilty knowledge of the murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish 
and Mr. Burke. Mr. Parnell had at the time considered it necessary 
to make an explanation in Parliament, and to declare that the letter 
was an obvious forgery. He now (July 6, 1888) repeated his assertion, 
and demanded a select committee to inquire into the matter. This, 
with questionable wisdom, the Government absolutely refused. They 
confined themselves to an offer to bring in a Bill appointing a Com- 
mission " to inquire into the charges and allegations made against 
certain members of Parliament and others, defendants in the recent 
trial." The general terms of this motion rendered it in fact a refusal 
to examine into the personal charges against Mr. Parnell, and estab- 
lished a judicial Commission charged with the duty of inquiring into 
the whole action of the two great Irish leagues. The very wide scope 
of the inquiry was regarded bj^many with much dislike, and the refusal 
to afford Mr. Parnell an opportunity of vindicating his character seemed 
scarcely just. Such as it was, however, the method recommended by 
the Government met with the approval of the House, and the Bill 
creating the Commission became law, August 13, 1888. 

The Commission consisted of three judges, Sir J. C. Day, Sir A. L. 
Smith, and Sir James Hannen. Its first meeting w T as TnePameii 
held in September 1888, and its last in November commission. 
1889. The Commissioners decided that the inquiry should take the 
form of a legal trial in which nine formal accusations were brought 
against the defendants, who were no less than sixty-five in number. 
The great speeches of Sir Charles Kussell on the one side, and the 
Attorney-General on the other, following as they did the course of 
Irish history for a considerable number of years, formed as full and 
consecutive a story of the disturbances as could then be arrived at. 
Although the questions involved were largely personal, or perhaps 
for this very reason, few things, though of far more historical im- 
portance, have excited such general interest or roused such angry 
passions as this Commission. For months it was the principal subject 
on which the eloquence of the Press was exercised, and the common 
topic of conversation. All the old and half-forgotten outrages were 


again thrust upon public notice, and afforded fresh food to the viru- 
lence of the Unionist papers. The final report was not published until 
February 1890. A whole year before that time, the point on which 
public interest was centred, the personal charge against Mr. Parnell, 
had received a signally dramatic refutation. When the authorship 
of the letter published in facsimile in the Times, and purporting to be 
in Mr. Parnell's handwriting, became the subject of inquiry (February 
21, 1889), there appeared in the witness-box a man named Pigott, to 
whom the letter had been traced. A severe and able cross-examination 
lasting for two days, conducted by Sir Charles Russell, was followed 
by the flight of the witness. On the next meeting of the Court, when 
the examination was to have been continued, Pigott was not there. 
He had fled to Spain ; and before long news reached England of his 
full confession and suicide (March 1, 1889). As far as Mr. Parnell 
was concerned, the vindication was complete, and the prosecution 
was obliged to confess the forgery. But, as Mr. Courtenay, Chairman 
of Committees, told his constituents, " The verdict, though a triumph 
for the Irish leader, had no practical result. Whether Mr. Parnell 
was or was not guilty, the Irish question still remained." 

Mr. Courtenay 's words unfortunately proved only too true. That 
the alleged letter of Mr. Parnell was proved to be a forgery, left the 
real question untouched, though it tended for awhile to increase the 
power and popularity of the Irish leader. What the exact character of 
this Irish question was, was by no means certain. To some it appeared 
a national question, to some political, to some agrarian. The application 
of remedies would have been an easier matter had this precise character 
been discovered ; but on all hands it was allowed that it included the 
land question ; and the Government were so convinced of this that 
they were intending to produce a great scheme for its settlement. 
While preparing a more complete treatment of the subject, they had 
thought it well to produce a temporary measure ; and in the autumn 
session of 1888 they proposed a Bill for the exten- 
tne Ashbourne sion of Lord Ashbourne's Act of July 1885. It was 
Act, Oct. 1888. j 10 p e( j that, avowedly partial and temporary as the Bill 
was, its acceptance might be easily secured. All matter likely to be 
contentious was omitted, and it was reduced to one simple clause 
authorising the expenditure of £5,000,000 in order to continue the 
operation of the existing Act ; yet it was only carried after fierce and 
prolonged opposition. There could be no question as to the success 
of Lord Ashbourne's Act. Already more than 14,000 applications 
for agreements between landlords and tenants had been made, 


requiring the advance of more than £(5,000,000. The applications 
were confined to ao particular part of Ireland, and everywhere the in- 
stalments had been regularly paid. In spite however of the increasing 
desire to take advantage of the Act which was visible even in ( lonnaught, 

in spite of the proof thus afforded of the general usefulness of the 
measure in all parts of Ireland, aground of opposition was found in the 
possible difficulty of applying its provisions to the poorer and more 
congested districts, where the poverty of the tenants might render 
it impossible to rind sufficient security to justify the Government 

Useful though this stop-gap Act certainly was, it had little effect in 
preventing the political side of the Irish question from Irish debate , 
reappearing in an aggravated form in the long debate Feb - 1889 - 
on the Address which followed the opening of Parliament in 1889. 
The late arrangements as to procedure had had the unexpected effect 
of introducing a prolongation of the debate upon the Address, which 
was one of the most striking changes in the conduct of the Lower 
House. The limitation which had been laid upon the rights of private 
members went hand-in-hand with the slackening of close party 
adhesion. Deprived of their time-honoured opportunities, and no 
longer satisfied to leave the duties of criticism to a few select leaders, 
private members took advantage of the debate on the Address to air 
their individual opinions on all sorts of subjects. In the present 
instance, among the many amendments one alone was of serious 
importance. It was that in which Mr. Morley (February 25) summed 
up in vigorous words the view taken of the existing administration 
by the Irish members and their friends: "The present sj^stem in 
Ireland is harsh, oppressive, and unjust, violates the rights, and alienates 
the affections of the Queen's Irish subjects, and is viewed with repro- 
bation and aversion by the people of Great Britain." The discussion 
of this amendment occupied no less than five nights. In all that time 
scarcely anything new was said. All the well-known complaints 
against the Government were reiterated, and were met with the old 
defensive arguments. Perhaps the most effective weapon of the 
attack was the obliteration under the late Crimes Act of the distinction 
between offences committed under the name of political agitation and 
offences which were but the ordinary breaches of law. The defence 
relied chiefly on the assertion of the gradual improvement of the 
country. As a matter of course, the amendment was lost and led to 

Meanwhile the Chief Secretary, Mr. Balfour, continued to carry 


out consistently the plan, the success of which had, as he believed, 
justified him in taking credit for the improved con- 
provement in dition of Ireland. The firm vindication of the law as 
laid down in the late Crimes Act was to go hand-in- 
hand with measures for the amelioration of the social condition 
of the country. To a superficial view there certainly appeared but 
little improvement in the feeling of the Irish towards England. 
Meetings were constantly proclaimed and broken up, and yet sur- 
reptitiously held; the " plan of campaign" was still pressed forward, 
and was producing in Tipperary a great conflict which reached its 
climax in the following year; there was still the same difficulty in 
obtaining evidence in prosecutions in favour of the Crown. Either 
intimidation or national feeling was so strong on this point, that one 
of the judges publicly declared that he only wondered how any one 
could be found to give evidence at all. But signs of a more hopeful 
future were not wanting. The Government had attempted to open 
out the resources of the country by Bills authorising great schemes of 
drainage and reclamation of waste lands, and setting on foot a system 
of light railways (August 27, 1889). The year was prosperous for 
agriculture ; prices were good. The number of tenants purchas- 
ing their holdings under the Ashbourne Act was steadily increas- 
ing. The disturbed area was becoming more distinctly defined and 
isolated. Altogether, in spite of the intense friction still visible, 
there was so much real improvement in the general state of affairs, 
that it was found possible in January 1890 to relax in eleven counties 
the action of the Crimes Act. 

Even the ' ' plan of campaign " was ultimately brought into discredit 
"New w i tn tne people by the very violence with which it 

Tipperary." was pressed in Tipperary. The plan had there been 
applied on the Ponsonby estate. Exceedingly favourable terms had 
been offered to the tenants. The refusal of these terms seemed so 
unreasonable that certain landowners entered into an association for 
the purpose of supporting the landlord interest which they regarded 
as their own. One of the best landlords in Ireland, Mr. Smith Barry, 
put himself at the head of this association. The right of co-operation 
and joint action, which the Irish Nationalists had been the first to 
claim for themselves, appeared to them an unpardonable crime when 
employed by the landlords. They instructed the tenants not to pay 
rent to Mr. Smith Barry. The greater part of the town of Tipperary 
belonged to him, and he was obliged to have recourse to eviction. 
Induced by promises of assistance from the league, and persuaded of 

1890] NEW TIPPER A RY 127 

the iinal success of their movement, the tenants gave up their houses 
and shops, and all their regular means of livelihood, and moved 
into "new Tipperary," a long double row of sheds erected for them 
by the league, just outside the town. There, for the whole of the 
year 1890, they continued a wretched existence in the belief that 
the league would certainly assist them. But events soon occurred 
which touched the Irish leaders more closely than the sufferings of 
their Tipperary dupes; and at length, in May 1891, after public 
denunciations of the manner in which they had been deceived, the 
unhappy exiles approached their former landlord. They found him 
ready not only to receive their submission but to give them liberal 
terms; and they returned to their homes in old Tipperary, leaving 
their ruined shanties as a memorial of the complete failure of their 
misguided though heroic effort. 

Although this was the most conspicuous contest of the year, there 
were others, such as that on the Glensharrold estate 

•i • r\r> • Nationalists 

near Ardagh, almost as striking. Of this the chiet condemned by 
interest lay in the gradually rising opposition of the theChurch - 
heads of the Roman Catholic Church to the extreme forms of the 
Nationalist movement. The Pope had already given his verdict 
against it; and although the majority of the clergy were in sympathy 
with it, and confined their obedience to assuming an attitude of 
friendly neutrality, there were not wanting both priests and bishops 
who, following the conspicuous example of Dr. O'Dwyer, Bishop of 
Limerick, condemned boycotting and refusal of rent in very outspoken 
language. But though the Church might condemn them, and un- 
fortunate victims of the " plan of campaign " might suffer, the leaders 
persisted in their "no rent" policy, rendered more acceptable to the 
people by a threatened failure of the potato crop in August 1890. 
With equal persistency the Government pursued its course; the Irish 
leaders were duly apprehended, tried, and imprisoned. 

The stormy trial of Mr. Dillon and Mr. O'Brien in Tipperary, from 
which they had withdrawn forfeiting their bail, was Fail of Mr. 
scarcely ended when a catastrophe occurred, which p ameii. 
affected primarily the private character of Mr. Parnell, but which in 
its consequences not only divided the Irish party, but even for the 
time seemed to paralyze the action of the Opposition in Parliament. 
A suit was brought in the Divorce Court by a well-known member 
of the Irish party, in which Mr. Parnell was the respondent. The 
Court pronounced its judgment in favour of the divorce (November 
17, 1890). 


The circumstances which were brought to light in the trial were 
such as seemed to touch both the morality and the honour of Mr. 
Parnell. It became at once a question whether his political position 
could be retained, and whether the English Liberals could consent to 
work hand in hand with a party of which lie was the leader. The 
first impression among the Irish was that Mr. Parnell's private 
Difficult posi- character need not in any way affect his political 
English. 116 position, and at several public meetings renewed con- 

Liberals, fidence was expressed in his leadership, although a 

few voices, notably that of Mr. Michael Davitt, were raised to urge at 
least his temporary withdrawal from political life. In England there 
was a strong expression on the part of the Unionist papers that any 
further co-operation between the English Liberals and the Irish, led by 
a man with such a blot on his name, would be little short of disgraceful. 
From the Home Pule side on the other hand came the opinion that 
the great question depended upon principles of justice, and not on the 
personal character of the statesmen who supported it, and that it was 
not for England to dictate to the Irish as to the choice of the leader 
to whom they were willing to intrust their cause. It appeared at first 
as though Mr. Gladstone and his firm supporter, Mr. John Morley, 
Mere inclined to this opinion. But Mr. Gladstone's duty was to regard 
the question from the point of view of a great party leader engaged 
in attempting to give effect to measures which he and his followers 
believed to be of vital importance. He was bound to be influenced 
by the opinion of followers on whom alone he could rely for securing 
any practical result from his efforts ; and the opinion of the Scottish 
Presbyterians and the English Nonconformists, of whom the bulk of 
his part}^ consisted, was not long uncertain. They gave it to be 
understood with perfect clearness that they would not co-operate with 
the Irish if Mr. Parnell retained his leadership. And Mr. Gladstone, 
in the interest of Ireland itself and of the cause which he was advo- 
cating, could not but accept their opinion. To have defied it must 
have meant the immediate wreck of the Home Rule movement. He 
undoubtedly hoped that Mr. Parnell would himself see the difficulty, 
and would relieve his party from their clanger by a voluntary resigna- 
tion. In this sense he wrote a letter, and placed it in the hands of 
Mr. McCarthy, to be produced if necessary; that is, if Mr. Parnell 
did not resign voluntarily at the meeting of the Irish party, which 
would be held as usual at the beginning of the session. 

Any hope of voluntary self-effacement on the part of Mr. Parnell 
was speedily dissipated. Before the second meeting of the party he 

1890] FALL OF PARNELL 129 

issue. 1 a manifesto, which virtually transformed the question into 
one of personal rivalry. The Irish were practically 
asked whether they would he led by Mr. Gladstone or manifesto, 
by Mr. Parnell. To secure their favourable answer, ov * 
assertions were made with respect to private conversations held between 
himself, Mr. Gladstone, and Mr. Morley, which, according to the Irish 
leader, limited in a disastrous manner the character of the Home Rule 
Bill which the Liberals were willing to support. And in addition to 
this, Mr. Parnell declared that proposals had been made to him to take 
office as Secretary for Ireland in case of the success of the Opposition 
at the next election. The assertions were categorically denied both 
by Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Morley ; and it was pointed out that, even 
if true, Mr. Parnell in making them had violated the sanctity of con- 
versations in the highest degree confidential. A series of very stormy 
debates among the Irish party, held in Committee-room No. 15, fol- 
lowed. Efforts were made to procure a conference with Mr. Gladstone, 
and to pledge him to two at least of the points mentioned in the 
manifesto, to wring from him an assertion that, in any future Home 
Rule Bill, the constabulary and the settlement of the land question 
should be left to the Irish Parliament. Although Mr. Gladstone con- 
sented (December 5) to receive the Irish deputation, he refused to 
commit himself. He took up the position that the question at present 
was not one concerning the form of the Home Rule Bill, but entirely 
one of leadership, and that therefore its decision rested with the Irish 
alone. Mr. Parnell, who still remained chairman of the Irish meetings, 
fought bitterly and with great ability for the retention of his position 
against a large majority backed now by the strong influence of the 
Roman Catholic Church. In face of his personal opposition it was 
found impossible to take a vote as to his leadership, but on the 6th of 
December the question was decided by forty-five members walking 
out of the Committee-room, leaving Mr. Parnell with but twenty-six 
followers. The majority, thus definitely breaking away from their 
old leader, chose Mr. Justin McCarthy in his place, with the title of 
Sessional Chairman. 

Great efforts were naturally made to prevent the entire dissolution 
of the party. Mr. W. O'Brien and Mr. Dillon, both M 

1 " • • Efforts to re- 

OI whom had been tried and convicted in the autumn, organise the 

but had escaped to America, now came to Boulogne to Iri8h party - 

attempt some arrangement with Mr. Parnell. Their efforts failed, and 

in February 1891 they returned to London to undergo their term of 

imprisonment. The actual issues on which the discussion rested were 



not known. Mr. McCarthy asserted, in a Report produced at a subse- 
quent Anti-Parnellite meeting, that Mr. Gladstone had stated as his view, 
that the land question must either be settled simultaneously with the 
granting of Home Rule, or be left to the Irish Parliament, under whose 
authority the police might also pass after an interval of a few years. 
With this statement Mr. McCarthy and his followers were satisfied, 
but Mr. Parnell demanded a written assurance that both questions 
should be unreservedly left to the Irish legislature. It seems how- 
ever more probable that the real subject of the Boulogne discussions 
was the leadership of the party. The attitude taken up by the Roman 
Catholic hierarchy was so threatening that the Anti-Parnellites may 
well have thought that the safety of the Irish cause required the retire- 
ment of Mr. Parnell. Mr. Dillon indeed declared subsequently that he 
would have been satisfied had he promised to withdraw for six months 

On the failure of the Boulogne negotiations, the struggle between the 
parties assumed a character of great virulence in Ireland. Language 
(as is not unusual in that country) of the most intemperate character 
was used on both sides. Mr. Parnell, breaking loose from all restraint, 
declared the pleasure he felt in his emancipation from servitude to 
English statesmen, and openly advocated separation. Neither he nor 
his opponents were scrupulous in the use of personalities. He stigmatised 
those who had seceded from him as " feeble, cowardly, and traitorous."- 
On the other side Mr. Maurice Healy described him as " an unapproach- 
able trickster, not only a libertine and a liar, but a cowardly sneak," and 
declared that ' ' any person attempting to patch up the present differ- 
ence by a compromise on the basis of his leadership should be hunted 
out of the country with a kettle tied to his tail." Mr. Parnell did not 
wholly lose his popularity, but his opponents, supported by the full 
weight of the priestly influence, were too strong for him. He lost 
much by his refusal to produce the accounts of the National League, 
and the cause as a whole suffered severely by the entire collapse of 
the New Tipperary scheme, where the unfortunate tenants were left 
deserted amid the struggles of their leaders. The issue of the contest 
was however still uncertain, when the unexpected 
Pameii, Oct. death of Mr. Parnell, in October 1891, withdrew the 
personal element from it, and the party settled down 
in two sections, the one under Mr. McCarthy, the other under Mr. 
Pamell's trusty follower, Mr. John Redmond. 

The break-up of the Irish party was of great political importance. 
The Opposition, with their Irish allies, and aided largely by 


mismanagement on the part of the Government, had succeeded in 
throwing obstacles in the way of most of the proposed legislation; an 
autumn session had again been found necessary, and a continued 
struggle had been expected. But the Irish disputes had so entirely 
disorganised the party, that in less than a fortnight two of the retarded 
Bills were pushed forward almost without opposition to the Committee 
stage, which was all that the Government had contemplated. 

Of these, the most important was the long-promised Land Purchase 
Bill, which had been introduced by Mr. Balfour on TheIjand p ur . 
March 24, 1890. In the amelioration of the Irish chase Bin, 
land laws there were two great branches, and two pro- 
posed methods of cure : the one, the improvement of the relation 
between landlord and tenant ; the other, the removal of the landlord 
and the establishment of the small farmer as a freeholder. It was the 
first of these methods which Mr. Gladstone had attempted. His Bills 
of 1870 and 1881 were directed to the establishment, legalisation, and 
regulation of the interest of the tenant in his holding; an interest 
acknowledged in different degrees in various parts of Ireland, and 
finding its most complete form in the Ulster tenant right. The 
Liberal party had however not been blind to the question of pur- 
chase ; various attempts had been made to foster it, especially by 
what are known as " the Bright clauses." To the Unionists, on 
the other hand, the removal of the dual ownership and the substi- 
tution of the single proprietary right of small landowners appeared 
the true method of cure. Only the very extreme Nationalists desired 
the compulsory expropriation of the landlords. Mr. Gladstone cer- 
tainly desired their retention, at all events in sufficient numbers to 
form a leading class. Recognising the losses which his legislation 
had inevitably brought upon them, he felt considerable sympathy with 
them. He was well aware also that the Irish Nationalists were on 
the whole decidedly favourable to a very wide extension of the freehold- 
ing class, and he could not but dread the probability of violent measures 
to secure this result in any exclusively Irish Parliament. It is indeed 
difficult to believe that his legislation for the extension and settlement 
of the tenant's interest, the establishment by statute of what is known 
as dual ownership, was intended to be permanent ; it seems rather as 
though he was attempting to supply the tenant with something to sell 
in order to render possible some sort of arrangement for the mutual 
advantage of landlord and tenant. However this may be, he certainly 
did not feel it right to place the landlords at the mercy of an Irish 
Parliament, and his great Land Purchase Bill in 188(3 had been directed 


to the object of allowing those landlords who disliked the changes in 
prospect, to free themselves from their disadvantageous position. 
That Bill was too closely connected with the Home Kule Bill to have 
any chance of success. But the greatness of its object, and its 
complete harmony in principle though not in detail with the 
agrarian policy both of the League and of the bulk of the Conserva- 
tives, should be distinctly recognised. The subsequent legislation of 
the Unionists with respect to land had been avowedly temporary, and 
had been directed to produce more gradually and by somewhat 
different methods the same result, that is to say, a peasant proprietary. 
Upon these lines was framed the Land Purchase Bill, which Mr. Balfour, 
according to the long-delayed promise of his party, introduced in March 
1890. It was a Bill of singular cleverness, with clauses showing much 
real sympathy for the wants of the Irish people, and elaborate, perhaps 
over-elaborate, ingenuity in the system of checks and counter-checks 
by which the liability of the English taxpayer was guarded. 

In any scheme of the sort which could possibly obtain the adherence 
~ of the imperial Parliament two things were necessary, 

Details of the l . & . «.,-,,, 

Land Purchase the absence ot compulsory expropriation of landlords, 
and the employment of British credit without any 
great risk to the taxpayer. It was thus a first principle of the Bill 
that all purchases made under it were to be by voluntary agreement 
between the landlord and the tenant. Many previous difficulties had 
been caused by the variety and number of the Courts and Departments 
involved, these were now to be superseded by one Central Department. 
To this Department was left the settlement of all disputes as to the 
price to be paid by the purchaser, with the limitation that under no 
circumstances was it to allow more than twenty years' purchase of the 
net rental ; that is to say, the gross rental, deducting the average 
amount paid in rates and taxes by the landlord. This was a consider- 
able diminution of the basis on which rent was to be fixed, as compared 
to that authorised under the Ashbourne Act ; on many small holdings 
where the landlord was obliged to pay the Poors 1 rate, the deduction 
approached a third of the rent. The process of acquisition on the 
part of the purchaser was then simplified. As soon as the Land 
Department had authorised the purchase, the land became the absolute 
property of the purchaser without further legal question. The whole 
of the price, limited as explained above, was to be advanced by 
England, and to be paid to the seller by a holding in a new funded loan 
established for the purpose, paying him 2| per cent., and redeemable 
at par in thirty years. The safe repayment of this advance was the 


second great point in the Bill. As under the Ashbourne Act, the pur- 
chaser was to repay the advance by an annuity. The payments were 
to consist of 4 per cent, on the purchase money and were to continue 
for forty-nine years. Of this sum, 2f per cent, represented the interest 
due to the seller, 1 per cent, formed a sinking fund, and the remain- 
ing \ per cent, went to the local authorities for the building and 
improvement of labourers' cottages. As an additional security, the 
tenants were to pay for the first five years £ per cent, beyond the 
proper annuity. This surplus, which was credited to them in the later 
instalments, meanwhile formed an insurance fund to meet default of 
payments in bad seasons. 

The adequacy of the repayment was secured by many intricate 
arrangements. The main principle was that any default should be 
met from that share of the revenue which was derived from licences, 
and from a portion of the probate duties which were paid to Ireland 
by the imperial Exchequer. Should these prove insufficient, a con- 
tingent guarantee was found in the rates on Government property 
and in the imperial contributions to education and to the Poor Law, 
money over which the Government had control. The whole capitalised 
value of the guarantee funds was calculated at £33,000,000 ; and this 
was the sum to which advances were limited. It was believed that 
the advances would only be required gradually, and that the money 
would be thus capable of use over and over again. 

A further difficulty in the solution of the Irish land question arose 
from the irregular distribution of the inhabitants. The congested 
There were certain districts, especially in the west, District Board, 
where the population was so thick and the holdings so small, that no 
system of purchase could afford relief. The people practically lived 
upon their earnings as labourers elsewhere, and were in no sense 
dependent on the land; and it was here that the greatest amount of 
poverty was found. These districts w T ere to be withdrawn from the 
general scheme and placed under the management of a special Board, 
known as the Congested District Board, to which large powers were 
intrusted. It was charged with the duty of amalgamating small hold- 
ings, aiding fisheries and emigration, and of giving instruction in such 
industries as fish-curing, agriculture, and woollen work. The final 
guarantee for the expenses of this Board was to be the surplus of 
tin' Irish Church Fund. 

That the Bill should meet with opposition from the Irish Nationalists 
was almost a matter of course. They had indeed con- opposition to 
stantly clamoured for schemes of purchase; but now theBiii. 


they raised the cry that this scheme was quite inadequate, that the 
sum advanced would not touch more than a fourth of the country, 
that the suggested instalments being at least 20 per cent, lower than 
the existing rent was a plain confession that rents were at least that 
much too high, and that in fact the real intention of the Bill was to raise 
the selling value of land by a side wind, so as to allow the worst and 
wealthier landlords to leave the country on good terms. Mr. Parnell, 
when opposing the second reading of the Bill (April 21, 1890), 
declared that the Irish would not accept it, and suggested as an 
alternative the lowering of rents, compensating the landlords for their 
loss for a certain number of years, but leaving them after that time 
to receive the lessened revenue from their property. The ground of 
opposition on the part of the English Liberals is not so clear. Mr. 
Gladstone, who spoke with apparent moderation, found not without 
reason many small objections ; but the four great objections which 
he declared were such as to prevent him from supporting the Bill do 
not carry conviction. They were in fact political. The first fatal 
point was the opposition of Ireland, he could not consent to force such 
a measure upon an unwilling people ; he considered that the landlords 
had such effective means of. coercion, that the bargains contemplated 
could not be voluntary ; he pointed out the evils of substituting the 
State for the landlord, apparently forgetful that his own Bill had con- 
templated a closely similar process; and he declined to pledge the 
credit of England without a fresh appeal to the people, believing them 
to have expressed their opinion against such a step at the last general 
election. The evil influence exerted by party government upon Irish 
questions was again exhibited with startling clearness. On a question 
which from its difficulty and its national character demanded the co- 
operation of wise men from all sides, the joint opposition succeeded in 
so hampering the Government that the Bill was withdrawn and relegated 
to an autumn session, when, as ahead}' mentioned, circumstances 
allowed it to be pushed forward without difficulty. 

The Bill was in Committee from April 10, 1891, to the 14th of 
May. In this stage it met with no undue obstruction, 
Bin passed, but, on the contrary, as Mr. Balfour gratefully ac- 

knowledged, received much assistance from the Irish 
members. It was finally read a third time on the 15th of June, and 
carried by a large majority. It passed through the House of Lords 
without difficulty, and received the royal assent at the end of July. 

The effect which the measure would have on the permanent settle- 
ment of Ireland was of course as yet a mere matter of speculation ; 

1891] THE TITHES BILL 135 

but there were clear signs that Mr. Balfour's administration, in spite 
of the uproar it had raised, had been effective. In crimes Act 
part no doubt he had received "assistance from the r ei ax ed. 
agricultural distress which had fallen upon the country at the close of 
1890, since it gave him the opportunity of showing the real sympathy 
which lay behind the severity of his action; in part also he had been 
assisted by the private disputes of the Irish Parliamentary leaders, 
whose humbler followers in Ireland labouring under a sense of desertion 
were more disposed to accept conciliatory measures. The result at 
all events was satisfactory; for Mr. Balfour was able to declare in 
Parliament (June 5, 1891) that the time had arrived for relaxing the 
action of the coercive clauses of the Crimes Act, that they might now 
be safely removed from all Ireland with the exception of one county, 
and a few outlying baronies. 

The second Bill which the break-up of the Opposition allowed 
Government to push forward was the Tithes Bill. The Tithes 
Tithes are always a burning question, and they had BilL 
lately produced formidable riots in Wales, where Nonconformity is 
strong. A Bill to secure their more certain collection had been 
introduced, but withdrawn in 1889. A considerable number of the 
suggestions made by the Opposition when the former Bill was 
before Parliament were incorporated in the new Tithe Bill of 1890 ; 
nevertheless it was bitterly opposed. Based upon the assumption 
that the tithes belonged to the Church, it immediately touched the 
Nonconformists. More indirectly it crossed that tendency towards 
Socialism, or perhaps more properly Collectivism, which, whether 
expressed or latent, had for some time been visible among the 
Radicals. In their view, the tithe was a national property, and could 
be used for other cognate purposes as well as the maintenance of the 
Church. But perhaps the most genuine dislike of tithes was felt by 
those, whether Churchmen or Nonconformists, who had to pay them ; 
and this feeling undoubtedly originated in misapprehension of what 
the tithes were and what would be the result of abolishing them. 
The farmers did not see that the tithes were a burden upon land, and 
that, although the payments were actually made by the tenants, it 
was the landlords who practically met the charge, and that the 
landlords alone would benefit if tithes were abolished. The pro- 
posed Bill at all events cleared up the question, by making the land- 
lords themselves answerable for the payment of the tithes. But as it 
recognised that tithes were private property not applicable to general 
purposes, that the proprietor in the main was the Church of England, 


and as it gave no relief to the farmer (for the landlord could always 
take the tithe into consideration when settling the rent), the Bill met 
with great and varied opposition : so much so that it shared the fate 
of the Land Purchase Bill, and was only carried forward amid the 
confusion of the autumn session. There can be little doubt that the 
well-defined and simple method of collection now proposed, by 
removing causes of irritation, and by placing the responsibility in 
surer hands, conferred a benefit both on the Church and on the farmer. 
The Bill was passed without much opposition in the spring session 
of 1891. 

The success of the Opposition in 1890 had been furthered by the 
injudicious introduction into the Budget of a clause which 

Opposition of J ° 

the Tem- brought to bear against the Government the whole 

perance par y. we jg^ f t i ie Temperance party. On the introduction 
of the Budget (April 17, 1890), Mr. Goschen had been able to state 
that the finances of the country were again in a flourishing condition ; 
he had a surplus of more than £3,000,000. He was therefore able to 
propose certain remissions, but did not intend to reduce the income- 
tax. He pointed out that the surplus was almost entirely due to an 
increase in the consumption of alcohol. He explained that the 
Government were seriously anxious to diminish this consumption, 
and he therefore proposed to increase the duties on spirits, and to 
place the sum thus raised in the hands of local authorities for the 
purpose of the purchase and extinction of unnecessary licensed houses. 
The position of the licence-holder had long occupied the attention of 
temperance reformers; and the more advanced among them held 
a strong opinion that the licence was, as it purported to be, merely 
for one year, that the holder had therefore no vested interest in it, and 
that its renewal might be refused by the licensing authorities at any 
time without compensation. Although the clauses of the Local 
Taxation Bill did not actually mention compensation, it was not 
unreasonable to see in the proposed system of public purchase of 
licensed houses an indirect method of compensating the holders, and 
an acknowledgment of the existence of a vested interest in the licence. 
A very considerable agitation arose upon the subject. Of all the 
great temperance societies, that of the Church of England alone 
looked favourably upon the Government proposals. The Opposition 
took advantage of the agitation among the temperance reformers, and 
a long and obstinate battle was fought in the House. Obliged as they 
were to make concessions to the Liberal Unionists, many of whom 
sympathised on this point with the Opposition, the Government 


unwillingly yielded step by step, and finally, on the 2Gth of June, 
though still maintaining a slight majority on divisions, found it 
necessary to withdraw their plan. They contented spirit duties 
themselves with handing over the money raised by $?°echnic1a for 
the enhanced duty on spirits to the County Councils Education, 
without condition but with a strongly worded intimation that they 
were expected to use it for educational purposes until such time as 
a definite scheme of technical education was called into existence. 
The Local Taxation Bill, in which this amendment was embodied, 
was carried on August 5, 1890. 

The Government had entered upon office with the declared intention 
of carrying out social reforms. Their actual achieve- Allotment Act, 
ments with one exception were not large. On the April i89i. 
great question pending between capital and labour they had confined 
themselves to the appointment of a commission of inquiry ; while 
their efforts to improve the position of the agricultural labourer had 
been limited to a measure giving power to local authorities to negotiate 
with landowners for the purchase of land to be let in allotments. The 
occupation of such allotments unquestionably added to the amenities 
of the life of workmen resident in towns, and was not without result 
in rendering the position of the agricultural labourer more tolerable. 
But it fell far short of satisfying the hope largely entertained that 
means might be found of giving the labourer such an interest in the 
laud as might prevent him from joining the ever-increasing stream of 
migration to the towns. 

On one point however a really great step in advance was taken, 
the opportunity having been afforded by the favourable FreeEduca- 
condition of the finances. On April 23, 1891, Mr. tion, July i89i. 
Goschen announced a surplus of £2,000,000, and declared that it 
might well be applied to the establishment of free education. His 
declaration had already been foreshadowed in the Queen's speech 
(January 22, 1891), "Your attention will be invited to the ex- 
pediency of alleviating the burden which compulsory education has in 
recent years imposed upon the poorer portions of my people." When 
once education had been made compulsory it w r as certain that 
sooner or later it must be made free; the State had practically 
undertaken the training of the children of the nation, and to 
oblige parents to pay for it against their will was neither logical 
nor in the long run possible. Many Liberals had for years believed 
that the step now suggested was a necessary one. Nor had this 
belief been confined to the Opposition; it was shared by Mr. 


Chamberlain and by many members of the Unionist party. The 
proposal therefore met with general favour. Such opposition as it 
encountered came chiefly from the Conservatives. There were many, 
and among them men most deeply interested in the cause of education, 
who regarded it with apprehension. To lessen the responsibilities of 
the parent appeared to them a questionable advantage. It seemed to 
them to be only another step towards that system of State socialism, 
the rapid advance of which was threatening to undermine the inde- 
pendence of personal character, and to weaken, by reliance on the 
State, that robust strength which is produced by the necessity for 
individual effort. To these very reasonable objections was added the 
fear felt by many Conservatives that an even-handed distribution of 
State aid to denominational and undenominational schools would be 
sure to excite opposition, and would eventually lead to the triumph 
of the Board schools. The feeling in favour of the Bill was however 
very general; it was carried without difficulty and became law, 
July 24, 1891. It authorised the payment by the State of 10s. a 
year for the education of every child between the ages of 5 and 15 
who made the required number of attendances at either a Board or 
Denominational school. The contribution was calculated upon the 
ordinary fee of about 3d. a week. There were however many 
schools at which the fee was higher; a provision was therefore 
made to allow the continuance of the excess fee in these schools, 
deducting the 3d. paid by Government. 

English primary education is still far from perfect; it is still open 
to the very serious charge of being directed to no definite and well- 
understood end, and of wanting that elasticity which is requisite to 
secure its application to varying circumstances of time and place. But 
it was undoubtedly a great step forward when a hardship was removed 
which was felt b} r a very large class of people, and which furnished 
an argument of real cogency to thos2 who either from carelessness or 
ignorance of its value objected to the compulsory education of children. 
Theoretically the Bill marks the acceptance in the fullest sense by the 
State of the responsibility of training its future citizens in the first 
rudiments of culture. 

The Parliament was approaching its termination, it was practically 
Preparations certain that a dissolution would be necessary before the 
for general autumn of 1892. Already therefore the rival parties 

election, Sept. § J l 

1891. Avere making preparation for a general election, and 

whatever assertions were made, or measures introduced, must be 
regarded from that point of view. The most definite compendium of 


tht' policy of the Liberals is to be found in the Resolutions of the 
National Liberal Federation which assembled at Newcastle in 
September 1891. At the head of the list, as was inevitable consider- 
ing the views of the party leader, stood Home Rule. Beyond this, 
after the payment of Members and the creation of Parish Councils, 
the greatest stress was laid upon the disestablishment of the Welsh 
Church. Mr. Gladstone's support of such a measure exposed him to 
considerable obloquy and to the charge of sacrificing principle to the 
exigencies of party. Yet it was in strict accordance with the general 
trend of his policy that Wales should be regarded as a separate 
nationality, and with his previous utterances as to the Scotch Church, 
that the voice of the large majority of its representatives in favour of 
disestablishment should demand consideration. At the same time it 
cannot be questioned that the promise of such a step as even partial 
Church Disestablishment held out a strong inducement to the Noncon- 
formists to support the Liberal party. 

But perhaps the more significant part of the programme was the 
attention given to the claims of the agricultural labourers. From the 
time of their complete enfranchisement, their weight in party politics 
had been well understood. On the first occasion on which they had 
used their vote the result had been b} r no means in accordance with 
the general expectation. Both parties now felt the necessity of 
securing the Agricultural vote in the County elections. The result 
was a somewhat undignified competition, in which Conservative and 
Liberal attempted to outbid each other in their promises. It was 

thought advisable bv the Liberals to hold a Conference 

° . -r 1 x 111 1 - ^ i n liberal meet- 

cf villagers in London. It was held on the 10th of ingofagri- 

Pecember, and was honestly representative. Some 
400 delegates attended. Naturally enough the views of such a 
meeting had little to do with imperial questions. The chief com- 
plaints were the usurped authority of the clergy, the quantity of land 
which was kept out of cultivation for the sake of sport or pleasure, 
and the high rents at which allotments were let. The chief demands 
were the establishment of Parish Councils which should have control 
of the land, the schools and the charities, as well as some other less 
important items such as rights of way, which had already been sug- 
gested as within their competence; and that the members of the 
Councils to whom these powers were given should be elected by ballot 
on the " one man one vote " system. They made it clearly understood 
that their business was quite as important as Home Pule, and should 
not be postponed for it. To complete the operation, Mr. Gladstone 


met the delegates at a breakfast at the Holborn Restaurant. He 
there expressed a general approval of their propositions, but coupled 
it with a firm protest against their complaints of the squire and the 
parson. He further suggested that the Parish Council should lease 
rather than buy land ; their rents, the duration of their tenure, and 
their general independence would thus be more completely in their 
own hands, while the difficulty of raising the money requisite for 
purchase would be removed. 

The Conservatives thought it necessary to follow this example, and 
conservative summoned a meeting of rural representatives, chiefly 
meeting of f rom ^ e eas t ern counties, to be held at Ely, in 

cuiturists. January 1892. The complaints at the meeting were 

much of the same character, but the necessity of old age pensions 
was brought more prominently forward. To Mr. Chaplin, the 
Minister of Agriculture, fell the duty of explaining the intentions of 
the Government. He mentioned as points likely to be considered, 
the increase of small holdings, the improvement of cottages, and the 
establishment of District rather than Parish Councils. Allotments 
could, he thought, always be obtained by voluntary agreement, and 
as the land given was good and convenient, they must expect to pay 
high rent for it. With regard to old age pensions he said that any 
scheme adopted must be such as would not injure the great benefit 
societies. But the real point of his speech was strictly political. Botli 
parties being desirous in their own ways of improving the labourer's 
position, which, he asked, was the most likely to fulfil their promises, 
the Conservatives who had always shown interest in the agricultural 
poor, or the Liberals who were determined to postpone all English 
legislation until the impossible question of Ireland was settled ? 

The session of 1892 opened under somewhat new circumstances. 
The death of the Duke of Devonshire had raised his 

Changes in the . , 

House, Jan. son Lord Hartington to the peerage and deprived his 
party in the Lower House of his weighty and sensible 
leadership. The Liberal Unionists found in Mr. Chamberlain a leader 
of a wholly different complexion. Vehement and aggressive in speech, 
Radical in many of his views, and of a very practical mind, Mr. 
Chamberlain was gifted with that faith in himself, and that determina- 
tion to bring to a realisation the object he had in view which together 
constitute a first-rate party man. On the other hand he was not, 
like his predecessor, secure of his position, he had to make it for 
himself. A certain quiet dignity therefore which had marked Lord 
Hartington, was in his case wanting; and there was always a 


probability that if lie found his objects fairly advanced by the Con- 
servative Government he might shrink from a lengthened exclusion from 
oflice, and find means to join his former opponents. Meanwhile, the 
influence of the party under his guidance continued to be very marked. 
The leadership of the House had also passed into different hands, Mr. 
W. II. Smith, the incarnation of solid good sense, had died in the 
autumn of 1891, and with general approbation one of the youngest 
members of the Cabinet, Mr. Arthur Balfour, had resigned the Irish 
Secretaryship where his work had been so striking, and had accepted 
the position of First Lord of the Treasury with the management of 
the House. 

Although thus removed from the Irish administration, where his 
place was taken by Mr. Jackson (February 18, 1892), . 
Mr. Balfour thought it right himself to introduce the Government 


Bill for Irish Local Government which was to represent 
the Unionist view of what Home Rule might mean, and to fulfil that 
promise of similar treatment of England and Ireland, which ever 
since 1880 had been waiting its fulfilment. Introduced with a some- 
what strange show of carelessness and want of interest, the Bill 
contained provisions which the Irish Party could scarcely fail to 
regard as insulting. It showed throughout a profound disbelief in the 
honesty of the people to whom it intrusted power. It proposed to 
create County Councils, with certain administrative duties, and also 
Baronial Councils, answering to what were known in England as 
District Councils. But the gift which seemed so generous was fenced 
about by restrictions which deprived it of all its value. All judicial 
duties were still to be left in the hands of the grand juries. The 
police was left as before. Even the limited duties intrusted to the 
County Councils were guarded by strict conditions. Not only were 
the County Councils themselves hampered by the presence of four 
nominee members, but all expenditure on roads or new offices or 
similar matters was to be subject in every county to the appro- 
bation of a joint committee of fifteen members, only seven of whom 
were to be nominated by the County Council. The presence of the 
Sheriff as an ex-ojjicio member and of seven members nominated by 
the grand jury secured a majority to the representatives of the 
Administration. Nor was this all. By a clause which excited 
great anger, twenty ratepayers might petition the judges to re- 
move any County or Baronial Council on the ground of oppression or 
corruption. Any two judges might try the case, and if they found 
the Council guilty might remove it, its powers being then transferred 


to the Lord Lieutenant. Such restrictions might have been necessary ; 
but if so, it seemed hardly judicious to establish Local Government 
at all, or to place any power in the hands of men so evidently mis- 
trusted. There can be little doubt that Mr. Balfour had no faith 
in his own scheme. He declared in fact that he regarded it as of 
much less importance than the Criminal Law Procedure Act, or the 
Railway Act, or the Congested Districts Act, or the Land Purchase 
Act. It is indeed known that it was introduced to satisfy the demands 
of the Liberal Unionists. It was also no doubt desirable, in view of 
the coming elections, that the Ministerial candidates should be able 
to assert that the Government promises had been fulfilled. It was 
found impossible, perhaps it was never intended, to pass the Bill 
during the session. At the same time it was, as Mr. Gladstone said, 
and as Mr. Balfour admitted, of great use in clearing the air, and 
showing how far the Government was inclined to go. 

Mr. Chaplin was more successful in his promised Bill in favour of 
small Holdings small holdings. Its intention was primarily to keep 
BllL the people on the land. It empowered County Councils 

to borrow a sum not involving a charge of more than a penny per 
pound upon the rates, for the purpose of buying land for small 
holdings of from one to fifty acres. Objection was made to the want 
of compulsory powers of purchase, but the Bill passed and became 
law (June 21, 1892). 

With the exception of a few other Bills of no great importance, 
nothing else was completed. The business of the House was rapidly 
wound up, and in June the necessary dissolution took place. 

The issue on which the battle of the elections was to be fought was, 
Questions at except in the one great point, somewhat confused, 
issue at the Mr. Balfour's want of interest in his own Irish Local 

Government Bill, and the list of measures which he 
declared to be of more importance, indicate the different temper in 
which the two parties approached the questions of the time. Apart 
from a certain amount of personal and class prejudice it would be 
foolish to doubt the genuine interest felt by both in the improvement 
of the condition of Ireland and of the English working classes. But 
while the Liberals sought the cure largely in the concession of political 
rights, the Conservatives sought it in the immediate practical correction 
of recognised evils. It is usual to speak of the Liberals as being 
unduly moved by sentiment, and as mischievously eager to call into 
action legislative inteivention. The charge can scarcely be sub- 
stantiated, or must at least be shared by their opponents. There 


is no doubt that Mr. Gladstone was on one point strongly moved 
by sentiment; intense sympathy with national aspirations, and an 
overwhelming belief that the first duty of England was to cure, as 
it had caused, the woes of Ireland, had become the single motive 
power of his political action. But in other respects, both sentiment 
and a readiness to accept legislative interference seem to have been 
fairly distributed in the two parties. The desire for imperial self- 
assertion and the pity for the sufferings of the poor which prevailed 
among the Conservatives were as truly sentiments as any which 
actuated the Liberals. There was no lack of sentimental horror 
among the Conservatives when what they considered as the greatness 
of the country or that prestige which they loved so dearly was touched ; 
the mere unfounded suggestion that the Liberals were inclined to bring 
the occupation of Egypt to an end seemed likely to ruin the prospects 
of the Opposition. Nor was there any lack of readiness to sanction 
legislative action in favour of the well-being of the working-man ; 
indeed, the principle of State socialism was even more obvious in the 
Unionist ranks than in those of the Opposition. On the other hand, 
the Liberals were upon certain points not only free from sentiment 
but were commonly charged with being u doctrinaire." It was from 
their ranks that the firmest protest issued against tampering even 
in the slightest degree with the policy of free-trade ; they denounced, 
resting their denunciations upon the theoretical doctrines of political 
economy, all ideas of reciprocity or of preferential duties for the sake 
of colonial interests ; and it was they who attempted to prove the 
nugatory character of any scheme of old age pension. 

It is interesting to observe Lord Salisbury's attitude with regard to 
these two questions which were prominently before the Lordsaiis- 
public. He apparently had some sympathy for the fury's viewa 
mistrust of free-trade so generally felt among his followers. He cer- 
tainly gave utterance to words which seemed to imply the possibility 
at all events of some measure of a slightly protective character. One 
of his arguments in favour of the increase of British dominions was 
found in the possible necessity of finding in home markets the chief 
extension of commerce, and when pointing out the refusal of all 
nations except England to accept free-trade, he certainly used 
words which could be and were largely interpreted as a hint that 
reciprocity might be necessary. But Lord Salisbury, who believed 
apparently in the inevitable character of development, and therefore 
preferred to follow rather than attempt to mould the tendencies of the 
time, was at all events firm on the other question. Intervention 


between employer and employed he constantly denounced ; and while 
favouring any arrangements which could improve the physical condition 
of the poor, he set his face constantly against the belief that the poor 
man would find any real advantage in adventitious assistance, declaring 
that his hope must rest on his own character and his own thrift. 

Thus, when the General Election came on in July, except on one 
Dividing line great point the line dividing the parties was not very 
of parties. easv f definition. The difference lay rather in the 

temper and spirit in which questions were approached than in the 
questions themselves, more in the personal confidence inspired by 
the leaders than in the actual measures they promised to produce. 
There can be no question as to the real desire of all parties to amelio- 
rate the condition of the poor. But real trust in the working-man 
and the belief that if privileges were given him he would use them 
well, which were largely felt by the more advanced Liberals, found 
but little place in the Conservative ranks. With them the ideas 
of wealth and of influence were inseparable. It was charitable 
sentiment rather than a sense of justice which urged them to social 
reforms. Political questions were treated in the same temper. The 
assertion of the rights and privileges of the upper and propertied 
classes, and the importance of giving due weight to wealth, are every- 
where visible. If, as was now inevitable, democratic forms were 
necessary, it was the propertied District Council and not the working- 
men in their Parish Council who should be charged with local duties. 
If again Lord Salisbury and his friends were strongly opposed to the 
principle involved in the formula " one man one vote," it was because 
it entailed a loss of the influence due to the possession of property in 
several different constituencies. In the same way with regard to the 
House of Lords ; as the representatives of property, in Conservative 
eyes the peers possessed and ought to possess large constitutional power. 
It had been declared, and Lord Salisbury had accepted the declaration, 
that although it was neither possible nor right for the House of Lords 
to refuse to listen to the clearly expressed desire of the nation, it 
was its right and its duty to insist upon such a definite issue being 
placed before the nation. The expressed will of the nation was no 
doubt too strong to be resisted ; but it must be a definitely expressed 
wish embodied in a detailed Bill ; a vague mandate interpreted by a 
Ministry could have no such coercive weight. Thus in the present 
instance, if Mr. Gladstone declined to give the details of his proposed 
Home Rule Bill and came into pow T er and then produced them, it was 
the duty of the Lords to throw it out and to force a dissolution, so that 


not the principle merely but the definite Bill should be before the 
constituencies. Roughly, on the one side was ranged property and 
orthodoxy, on the other democracy and nonconformity. 

The one overwhelming question to be settled was still the Irish 
question. Beyond that there were Welsh disestablish- g . ngof 
ment, and social questions regarded from the different Liberal 
points of view which have been roughly indicated. reac 1 
Judging by the bye-elections there had already been a distinct turn 
id the tide. Mr. Gladstone had openly avowed his inability at his 
age to undertake more than the one great reform on which he was 
bent. But apart from Ireland, the people were returning to their 
allegiance to the Liberal party. The belief that more was to be 
gained in the way of reform and improvement from a Liberal than 
from a Conservative Government was reasserting itself. To this is 
to be added the inevitable reaction which seems to govern the ebb 
and flow of parties, the desire to try what men now excluded from 
office for six years would do, and the inevitable disappointment which 
waits on any long-lived Government from its failure to satisfy the hopes 
under which it had gained its majority. Political gratitude is one of the 
weakest of motives ; it was in vain to speak of the Local Government 
Act or of Free Education, while still further advances seemed obtain- 
able from a change of Ministry. Yet the result of the whole election 
was not so great as had been expected. Mr. Gladstone had always 
said that to handle the Irish question properly the Government which 
undertook the work must have a working majority 
exclusive of the Irish. He had hoped from the election, July 
signs given at bye-elections that such would now be 
the case. When the result of the elections became known, and the 
Liberal majority was found to be no more than 40 including the 81 
Irish Nationalists it was plain that the desired condition had not 
been reached, and that a large and free handling of the Irish question 
would be impossible. As the Opposition commanded a clear majority 
if the Gladstonians and Irish voted together, it became a question 
whether Lord Salisbury should at once resign, or should again meet 
Parliament as Prime Minister. He preferred the latter course, and 
in so doing was certainly justified by the state of parties. The change 
of opinion in England, as shown in the late elections, was not sufficient 
to render his resignation necessary. 

The speech from the throne with which, on the 8th of August, the 
session was opened was of the briefest character. The Liberal Lords 
were thus unexpectedly in a position to avoid -discussion, and refrained 


from moving any amendment on the Address. But though the 
Address was adopted in the Upper House without a 

Opening 1 of l rr 

Parliament, division, both Lord Salisbury and the Duke of Devon- 

shire took the opportunity of expressing in strong 
words their view of the crisis, and called upon the House to resist 
with all their strength any attempt that might be made to deprive 
the Peers of their constitutional right of an equal voice in legislation, 
for now, if ever, it was upon them that the future of the country 

It was of course in the House of Commons that the fate of the 
vote of "Want Ministry had to be decided. Their retention of power, 
of confidence. a f ter j- ne verdict of the late election, was vindicated 
by the argument that if the Irish party, whose opinion was a matter 
of certainty, was left out of sight, the mandate given to the Unionist 
Government in 1886 to oppose Home Rule had not been withdrawn 
by the constituencies, and that they could not yield to anything less 
than a hostile vote of the House. Such a vote was not long delayed ; 
Mr. Asquith almost immediately moved a vote of want of confidence. 
In speaking in support of it, the leaders of both branches of the Irish 
party emphasised their position as holding the balance in the House. 
They stated the demands of Ireland, and declared that unless the 
Home Rule Bill answered those demands they would assuredly vote 
against it. Mr. Gladstone was not however to be induced to give 
any detailed declaration of policy. He declared that the attempt to 
analyse the majority, and to speak of the Irish majority as if it were 
different from the majority of the United Kingdom, was a gross breach 
of the true spirit of national union. He stigmatised the Coercion Act 
as " an effort, not to punish crime, but to secure the collection of rent." 
He admitted that some good measures had been passed, but com- 
plained that others far more important introduced by the Opposition 
had been rejected. These rejected Bills might be taken as the 
programme of the Liberals. They included "the appointment of 
District Councils and Parish Councils, the placing of the police and 
the licensing under the County Councils, the adoption of local option, 
the application of the principle of religious equality to Scotland and 
Wales, the shortening of Parliaments, the payment of members, the 
amendment of registration, the establishment of what is called ' one 
man one vote,' the equalisation of the death duties, and many more 
such proposals." Turning to Irish affairs, he declared with much 
solemnity, "The question of Ireland is to me personally almost 
everything. It is almost, if not altogether, my sole link with public 


life. It has been my primary and absorbing interest for the last six 

or ^cvcn years, and so it will continue till the end." 

The division (August 11, 1892) was of course on strict party lines ; 
the Government were defeated by a majority of 40, and Resignation of 
at once resigned. the Ministry. 

The retiring Government had been fortunate in possessing in Lord 
Salisbury a Foreign Minister of unusual ability. _ . 

* . . . „ ,. , Foreign policy 

Although from time to time voices of disapproval of the retiring 
had been raised by the Opposition, his foreign policy ims ry " 
had throughout his tenure of office met with general commendation. 
That the Premier should undertake the onerous duties of the Foreign 
Office was unusual ; but though the arrangement had been much 
criticised, it had proved a good one ; for the circumstances of Europe 
were such as to require the surrender of old party traditions ; and 
although there were no superlatively great and critical questions at 
issue, there were several complicated matters needing tactful handling 
and necessitating concessions, and an amount of give and take which 
no authority less than that of the Premier could have rendered 
palatable to his followers. The idea of imperialism had taken con- 
siderable hold upon the public mind. It was as yet very undefined, 
and ranging from the aggressive self-assertion which is stigmatised as 
Jingoism, up to the wise appreciation of the national responsibility 
towards the outlying portions of the empire. The unity of the 
empire had no doubt been much emphasised in the Home Rule 
discussions, but the recognition of its importance was by no means 
a monopoly of the Unionists. If the imperial position of Great 
Britain had again and again been emphasised by Mr. Chamberlain, 
the other side of the question, the mutual responsibility of Great 
Britain and its colonies, had found an eloquent exponent in Lord 
Bosebery. He had pointed out' the change which was taking place 
under the influence of wide colonisation, and the probability that 
future causes of war would be found rather in the disputes of distant 
colonies than in Europe. From this he drew the conclusion that 
while it was just to demand from the colonies assistance for imperial 
defence, it followed as a necessary consequence that they should have 
some voice in the foreign policy of the empire. It was indeed 
obviously just that the colonies, endowed as they were with a system 
of the widest self-government, should assist in their own defence. 
The principle had been already accepted, and they had contributed 
towards the expense of works necessary to render their coasts and 
harbours secure. It could hardly be expected that they would 


continue their assistance without receiving some share in the 
government. There was a strong feeling that the loosely joined 
limbs of the empire must be linked more closely to the centre of 
political life. 

From his first accession to office, Lord Salisbury had made it 
-r ^ c ,• x. evident that he had no intention of upholding that 

Lord Salisbury * ° 

as Foreign self - asserting form of imperialism which Lord 

Beaconsficld had been inclined to favour. His 
positive mind saved him from the dangers of imaginative states- 
manship, his deep-seated love of peace made him press diplomatic 
methods to their furthest extreme in order to avoid war. It has 
been mentioned that in the matter of the Afghan boundary and 
in the Eastern question he had frankly adopted the views of his 
predecessors, even though modifications of the Berlin Treaty were at 
stake. He allowed the formation of a united Bulgaria, and upheld 
the influence of the concert of Europe, the creation of which had been 
the great work of Lord Granville. His action indeed was such as to 
merit and obtain the full approbation of the Opposition. But there 
was a concert of Europe of a different sort and for a different object, 
to which the relation of England had to be considered. The great war 
of 1871 had left France and Germany in a state of scarcely suppressed 
antagonism. To secure his country from the revenge of the French, 
and to maintain the general peace of Europe, Bismarck had used all his 
ability to isolate France, and to combine Europe directly or indirectly 
in a great league against it. He had been largely successful. A 
triple alliance had been formed between Germany, Austria, and Italy. 
Russia had been secured by a secret treaty of neutrality, and an 
arrangement between Italy and England, in 1887, for securing the 
status quo in the Mediterranean had gone far to complete the isolation 
of France. Conditions such as these tended no doubt to the main- 
tenance of European peace, but did not conduce to calm the passions 
of the country on which they were forced. The re-establishment of 
their influence became a fixed idea among the French. 

As a further assurance of peace, the nations of Europe were adopt- 
European m S the somewhat strange measure of maintaining 

Armaments. gigantic armaments. The received principle of the 
time was that peace was best maintained by preparation for war. 
Avowedly in fact there was the deepest mistrust among the various 
countries, and each thought it necessary to be in a condition to repel 
with certainty a possible invasion. Even in England the doctrine 
found acceptance, and though its insular position rendered such vast 


armies as were kept up abroad unnecessary to it, its corresponding 
weapon of defence, the ileet, demanded a similar enormous increase. 

In the year 1888 attention had been drawn to the condition of the 
navy, especially by Lord Charles Beresford and Mr. increase of the 
Brassey, while Lord Wolseley had subjected the con- nav y- 
dition of the army to a searching and bitter criticism. At the time, 
with that optimism which is inherent in Governments, all was declared 
admirable, and Lord Wolseley had to submit to a severe reprimand 
from Lord Salisbury ; but a year's meditation seemed to bring home to 
the Government the truth of the charges made. For when the estimates 
for the army and navy were produced in March 1880, they were ac- 
companied with an elaborate plan for an increase to the navy of no less 
than 70 ships, at a cost of £21,000,000. Of this, £10,000,000 was to 
be paid by instalments spread over four years, and the remainder was 
to make its appearance in a yearly increase of the estimates. There 
was naturally some opposition to so large an expenditure, and much 
technical criticism of the sort of ships the Government proposed to 
build. It was urged that so lengthened a programme was likely to 
stereotype inferior forms of vessel which changing circumstances might 
render useless. And, before all, there was a strong expression of dislike 
to placing out of the immediate control of Parliament so large a sum 
for a considerable number of years. But the feeling, both of the House 
and of the nation, was quite decided that whatever was necessary 
for the security of the nation must be done without further delay, 
and the naval estimates were passed by a large majority. With 
reject to the army, the case was rather different; the Government 
still held to the view that the real defence of the empire was to be 
found in the fleet. The army estimates were therefore conceived in 
a narrower spirit. The explanations of Mr. Stanhope as to the 
sutliciency of the existing army for purposes of defence were regarded 
as satisfactory, and, though not without a certain amount of criticism, 
the estimates were allowed to pass. 

Though England thus in some degree followed the example of 
continental nations, and had even in 1887 contracted Policy of 
some form of understanding with Italy, the general isolation, 
and traditional policy of the Government was to stand aloof from 
European quarrels, with a reasonable certainty of finding allies should 
any grave difficulty occur. This policy of isolation appeared to the 
continental Powers mere sellishness. It produced a very general 
feeling of dislike to England, and threw upon the Foreign Office the 
delicate duty of maintaining friendly relations with countries mutually 


hostile. Under these circumstances disputes, not in themselves of 
great importance, might easily have produced serious consequences 
if badly handled. And such disputes were plentiful, more especially 
with France. The continuation year by year of the occupation of 
Egypt, which had been originally entered upon with a solemn assertion 
that it was but a temporary measure, excited much jealousy and 
mistrust, and it was impossible for France to avoid feeling sore at the 
loss of an influence it had once so largely shared. That the occupation 
was practically necessary, and certainly highly advantageous to the 
people, failed to change the opinion of those who saw in it only covert 
aggression. Thus it was with France, eager to regain its old position 
in Europe and to break through the restraints which Bismarck's 
diplomacy had laid upon it, that the first serious difficulty arose. 

There was a quarrel of very long standing connected with the 
Newfoundland Newfoundland fisheries. According to the English 
fisheries. contention, the question rested upon the terms of the 

Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. By that treaty the rights of fishing upon 
the Newfoundland coast had been secured to the French, together 
with the right of drying fish upon the land, and of erecting for that 
purpose, and for that purpose only, stages and wooden huts. Permanent 
buildings and permanent occupation were distinctly forbidden. The 
matter had been mentioned in more than one subsequent treaty, 
and the portion of coast thrown open had been changed, but at no 
time did it appear that the original limitations had been withdrawn. 
The French however read into the treaties a meaning much more 
advantageous to themselves. They construed them as granting them 
the sovereignty of the coast over which their fishing rights extended. 
They had excluded British fishermen, had built permanent factories 
for the purpose of lobster-canning, had set at defiance the colonial 
authorities, and, according- to the assertion of the Newfoundlanders, 
had rendered impossible all development over nearly half the island. 
The difficulty was aggravated by the very decided views of the 
colonial Government, and by its urgent appeals to the mother country 
to defend its rights. Great discontent was felt and shown at the slow 
and careful methods of the Foreign Office ; and the modus vivendi by 
which, during the settlement of the question, the fishermen of the two 
nations were to enjoy joint rights, received anything but a favour- 
able reception. It was even openly asserted that the arbitration 
suggested by the Home Government would not be accepted or its 
awards be obeyed. A deputation of the Newfoundland Ministry came 
over to England to urge the colonial cause. There was some talk 


of separation, and an attempt to find in the American Republic the 
support refused by England. The quarrel became highly critical ; 
a false step on the part of the naval officers of either nation might 
have brought on a serious quarrel and even war. The English 
Ministry, under these circumstances, made use of the imperial position 
of England in a manner which was certainly the very opposite of what 
is generally meant by " imperialism." They entirely overruled the 
colonial view, admitted most of the claims of France, and in 1891 
brought in a Bill by which naval officers were authorised to secure 
even by force the carrying out of treaties. It was not however found 
necessary to press this Bill to a conclusion. The Government stated 
that an agreement had been arrived at, by which, after the second 
reading, time should be allowed for negotiation with the colonial 
Legislature, and the Bill be dropped if the modus vivendi, the arbitra- 
tion award, and the maintenance of the existing treaties were accepted 
for three years, so as to give time for a final settlement to be reached. 
The Bill was not even read a second time ; but the House declared 
its willingness to support the Government in carrying out the treaties 
and in going to arbitration. 

But the greatest difficulties with which the Foreign Office had to 
contend were those arising from the almost sudden Difficulties in 
rise throughout Europe of a desire for colonising the Africa. 
African continent. Until 1876 the only European country exercising 
any considerable influence in Africa was England. The great dis- 
coveries on that continent had been made by Englishmen, in many 
places the British flag had been raised, British missionary enterprise 
had begun the work of civilisation and formed settlements far in the 
interior, and British influence was practically unquestioned. But 
it is difficult, perhaps impossible, for the Government to go much 
beyond the wishes of the nation at large. Long-sighted views of 
political or mercantile possibilities, unless shared by the people, are 
out of the reach of Government. The mercantile world was not at 
the time ready to take advantage of the opportunities made known 
by the reports of travellers. There seemed no particular reason why 
things should not continue in their present position. The openings 
thus neglected were utilised by other nations. A mania for colonial ex- 
pansion, for the acquisition of extended territory, arose in all the great 
European countries. The English, suddenly awakened from their indif- 
ference, now threw themselves eagerly into the general scramble for 
the possession of the newly discovered country ; and they at once found 
themselves face to face with Portugal, Germany, France, and Italy, 


Now that the fit of apathy had passed away, and the complacent 
acquiescence in things as they were was rudely shocked, it must have 
been difficult for the Conservative leaders to keep aloof from the 
grasping temper of their followers. There are always men who 
consider the greatness of an empire to depend upon its size, who see 
in the acquisitions of their neighbours assaults upon themselves, and 
who are ready to raise the cry of injured national prestige at any 
concession or recognition of the rights of others. With such men 

Lord Salisbury's policy was not in favour ; the Press 
Salisbury's was full of their outcries. Lord Salisbury, though 

bitter in speech, was of a singularly peaceful disposi- 
tion. Believing strongly in the right and duty of European nations 
to assist in the advance of civilisation, the somewhat questionable 
view that vast tracts of territory, if inhabited by men of a different 
colour, may be legitimately seized to allow of the expansion of the 
white races, was not repugnant to him. But he always, under all 
circumstances and in every continent, recognised the necessary give 
and take of that diplomacy which is the civilised substitute for war. 
No doubt he was fully conscious that, in times past, both he and his 
rivals in office had neglected opportunities of which the loss was now 
to be regretted. But he approached the present complications with 
an acknowledgment that other nations had fairly occupied the places 
which England had carelessly left vacant. He limited himself to 
securing what could be honestly spoken of as " British interests ; " that 
is to say, such territories as were actually in some degree occupied 
by the British, or which appeared to be necessary for the expansion 
of such rudimentary settlements. 

The difficulties with Portugal assumed the shape of a question as to 
Dispute with the definition of the limits of ancient rights. The out- 
Portugui. burst of Portuguese energy in discovery and colonisation 

which marked the fifteenth century is a strange episode in history. A 
comparatively few years saw it fade away, and its results were left to 
be reaped by nations of a more persistent character. But what had 
been at that time effected in the southern part of Africa was now made 
the groundwork of astonishing pretensions. The whole breadth of the 
continent, from Mozambique and Lorenzo Marques on the east to St. 
Paul de Loando on the west, was claimed as belonging to Portugal 
by right of discovery. So vast a claim could not of course be admitted 
for a moment ; facts too obviously contradicted it. There was no 
difficulty in showing that, whatever might have been done in the 
fifteenth century, the Portuguese had long since retired from the 


interior, where their very name was unknown; that the ruins which 
they claimed as evidence of early occupation were of very different 
origin ; and that from dread of native hostility the Portuguese practically 
confined themselves to a few ill-kept and unhealthy settlements upon 
the coast. At these places, such trade as there was was in the hands 
of traders from British India ; and such fictitious establishments as still 
existed a few miles up the Zambesi consisted at most of a powerless 
Portuguese official with perhaps a sergeant, to represent armed occupa- 
tion. The expansion of Great Britain in Africa had assumed a form 
convenient no doubt at the time, as saving the Government from 
direct responsibility ; but, as history seemed to prove, it was a form of 
questionable advantage in the long run. The greater part of the duties 
of government had been given into the hands of large chartered com- 
panies. Already there were two such companies attempting to develop 
the countries to the south of Lake Nyassa ; and an important settlement 
of Scotch missionaries was spreading civilisation with marked success 
from their station at Blantyre in the highlands of the river Shire, the 
chief northern tributary of the Zambesi. A third great company was 
coming into existence for the purpose of opening up the countiw im- 
mediately to the north of the Transvaal. 

To have listened to Portugal would have been to check all these 
efforts. Lord Salisbury adopted a very firm attitude. 

_ T _. , _ J l 1# . J , Settlement 

\\ hen the Portuguese sent expeditions to try to make with Portugal, 
good their claims and to form treaties with the native June1891 - 
tribes, he despatched an ultimatum to the Court of Lisbon which in 
spite of angry demonstrations on the part of the populace could not be 
resisted. A line of demarcation was drawn, securing all that could 
reasonably be wished for, including the free navigation of the Zambesi 
and the Shire, and practically pushing British influence as far as the 
south of Lake Tanganyika. The Treaty was laid before the House of 
Lords in June 1891. Lord Salisbury explained that the general 
principle consisted in the acknowledgment of treaty rights and of 
effective occupation, and that the result, on the whole, was a division 
which placed in our hands the territories suited for white occupation, 
leaving to Portugal those which could be developed only by the natives 
in accordance with Portuguese habits. There was not much difficulty in 
dealing with a Power so effete, or with claims so preposterous as those 
of Portugal ; the case was different when the rival Power was Germany. 
The dispute with Germany concerned territories which had been, 
and still were nominally, the possessions of the Sultan Dispute with 
of Zanzibar. The desire for colonisation and for Germany. 


mercantile openings outside Europe had been strongly felt in Germany, 
and a society to foster colonisation had been formed which in 1884 
sent out commissioners, Dr. Peters and Count Pfeil, to the east coast 
of Africa opposite Zanzibar. When these explorers returned in the 
following year, it appeared that with entire disregard of the authority 
of the Sultan they had contracted separate alliances with various 
native chiefs. For many years at Zanzibar the English Consul, Sir 
John Kirk, had been practically all powerful. Under him British 
influence had become supreme, and Zanzibar seemed to be rapidly 
developing into an orderly and well-governed State. The news that 
behind and even within the limits of the Sultan's dominions the 
Germans were establishing a new power, gave a considerable shock 
to English feelings. In March 1885 a charter had been granted to 
a German colonisation company, giving it an imperial protectorate 
over territories stretching from Zanzibar to Lake Tanganyika. Prince 
Bismarck, bent upon realising his great schemes of military organisa- 
tion, although he was not himself in favour of colonial expansion, 
could not afford to disregard the movement, and the eager colonial 
party had received his support. In the opinion of the more vehement 
partisans of British expansion, the Foreign Office had yielded unduly 
to German pressure. In 1886 a line of demarcation, running from 
the river Wanga, north of Zanzibar, including the mountainous district 
of Kilimanjaro, and terminating on the shores of Lake Victoria, was 
agreed upon to separate the rival " spheres of influence " ; and at the 
same time the work of Sir John Kirk was entirely destroyed by the 
acknowledgment of a German protectorate over Zanzibar itself. The 
administration of the English " sphere of influence, 1 ' which lay to 
the north of this line and included the newly discovered kingdom of 
Uganda, was, in accordance with late precedents, intrusted to an East 
African company, at the head of which was Sir William Mackinnon. 
The two companies thus placed in close juxtaposition differed widely 
in their methods of procedure with the natives ; constant disputes 
arose between them, and the friction became very severe. Again, to 
the west of Lake Victoria, up to the confines of the Congo State, which 
had been established by the Belgian King at the instigation of Stanley 
the traveller, there was a large district not distinctly included either 
in the German or the English "sphere of influence." The aspirations 
of the British mercantile companies were high, and the idea had 
arisen of a continuous line of British trade settlements, or at least 
an extension of British influence from Cape Colony to Egypt. 
The great lakes afforded an almost continuous waterway, and the 


possession of this trade road was regarded as of the first importance. 
The eastern shore of Lake Tanganyika and the territory between it 
and Lake Victoria were included in the German " sphere." Conduct 
not of the most scrupulous character had enabled Dr. Peters to form 
private treaties with chiefs in this neighbourhood and to the west 
of Lake Victoria. There seemed to be a risk not only of a formidable 
break in the great mercantile road, but of the lapping of German 
influence around and behind the Uganda kingdom. 

Lord Salisbury was compelled to take the matter in hand. He 
treated it on his usual principles. He did not attempt _, . 

,..,,■,, , , . , . Settlement 

to claim for England more than was due, considering with Germany, 
the increase of the French power in Madagascar, the June 189 °" 
position of the Germans, and the labour and capital already spent in 
Africa. Under his management a Convention was arrived at in June 
1890. The German Government was induced to disregard the private 
arrangements Dr. Peters had made with the natives, and to treat the 
whole matter as an international one. The surrender to Germany 
of the little island of Heligoland procured the restoration of the Pro- 
tectorate of Zanzibar to England, and the encroaching temper of the 
Germans in Africa was set at rest by the demarcation of the limits 
of the rival spheres of influence in the disputed district. The line 
was drawn straight from a point on the west coast of Lake Victoria 
opposite to the termination of the old line from the coast to the 
lake until it reached the border of the Congo State. It was thought 
by many that this Convention favoured the Germans unduly. The 
uproar against it among the eager advocates of African expansion 
was violent. In their view the strict principle of "the hinterland 1 ' 
ought to have been applied ; the German sphere should have been 
confined to the land immediately behind their coast-line, and the line 
dividing the English and German spheres of influence should have been 
drawn far to the south of the great lake. Stanley was indignant at " the 
pusillanimous surrender of forests and kingdoms." Cut, as Lord Salisbury 
said, " bargains must be regarded from the point of view of prudence 
as well as of boldness ; and though we ruled the sea, and need fear no 
question of maritime rivalry, an entirely different set of considerations 
came into view when the question was one of taking possession of 
territories only accessible after three months' travel." When the 
treaty was completed, and it appeared that the right of continuing 
the trade road across the German territory had been secured, most 
reasonable men, and Stanley among them, were on the whole well 


In this policy of prudent bargain and constant concession there 
„ „ „ was little of the temper of acquisitive imperialism. 

Influence of L „ , . 

European Nor did the unusual exertion of authority over a self- 

poiitics. governing colony, in the case of Canada, and the shock 

given to its loyalty by the firm refusal of its claims, appear to be 
much in harmony with that more temperate form of imperialism 
which looks to closer union or even federation with the colonies. 
The justification for the unaggressive treatment of international and 
colonial questions may presumably be found in the general condition 
of European politics at the time. Direct alliances being out of the 
question, it became a necessity for English statesmanship to draw, as 
far as possible with an equal hand, support from either of the great 
continental groups. After all, the chief interest of England lay in 
Egypt. Promises forbade the assumption of a protectorate over that 
country, which forms the link not only with our Eastern empire, but 
with the largest and most important of our colonies. If England was 
ultimately to retire, time was wanted to complete the great work of 
re-establishment which had been taken in hand, and to confirm 
British influence. The only direct competitor for that influence was 
France. But the other great Powers did not regard the firm 
establishment of British supremacy with any favour ; it wanted but 
little to induce Germany to throw its weight into the scale. Both 
France and Germany had therefore to be conciliated. The price 
paid was perhaps somewhat high ; the acceptance of the French 
protectorate over Madagascar, and the support of French claims in 
Newfoundland, were matched by the great concessions to Germany 
in Africa, and the surrender of Heligoland. 

The extension of British territory however still went on. For 
Annexation of some years the relations between the Indian Govern- 
Burman. ment and Thebaw, King of Upper Burmah, had been 

severely strained. As early as 1879 our Resident had been withdrawn 
from the capital, and attempts to renew commercial treaties with the 
King had proved abortive. French agents had gained his ear. He 
had attempted to form European relations, and had contracted a Con- 
vention of some sort with France. The difficulty reached a climax 
when he was induced to confiscate the rights of the Burmah Trading 
Company in favour of French concessionaires. In the autumn of 
1885 it was found necessary to address an ultimatum to him, demand- 
ing arbitration and the reception of a British Resident. He refused, 
and pretended that his arrangements with France, Italy, and Germany 
required that he should consult those countries. On this, General 


Prendergast at once crossed the frontier, and after a short war 
occupied Mandelay, on November 28, 1885. The country thus 
conquered was in the following year annexed to the British empire. 
It was not without difficulty that the Government was established. 
A guerilla warfare was carried on by the inhabitants which lasted for 
several years. It was usual to speak of our enemies there as Dacoits, 
but there is no reason for thinking that they were other than patriotic 
people fighting for the independence of their country. The pacifica- 
tion of all the annexed districts was ultimately effected in 1889, 
and British Burmah administered like the rest of British India. 

With the exception of the annexation of Upper Burmah, the history 
of India during Lord Salisbury's administration had Management of 
been somewhat uneventful. The great ability of Indian affairs. 
Lord DufFerin enabled him to pursue with success the policy begun 
by the delimitation of the boundaries of Afghanistan in 1884. The 
policy consisted in establishing an independent State between the 
Russian empire and the British dominions, and in preserving friendly 
relations with its ruler, so long as he was able to maintain himself on 
the throne, and to keep in order the wild tribes of which his kingdom 
chiefly consisted. Abdurahman proved to be a man of unusual 
vigour; and though now and then difficulties arose, they were over- 
come by the tact of the Viceroy and the wisdom of the Ameer in 
recognising in which direction his own interests lay. Within the 
frontier which had now been definitely adopted, great efforts were 
made to secure the defence of India. Various communications were 
opened, and a railway was constructed at considerable expense from 
the valley of the Indus to Quetta. In Baluchistan the influence of Sir 
Robert Sandeman secured the friendship of the chiefs. Each little 
war was made of use as an opportunity of surveying and mapping 
the difficult mountain barrier. Lord Dufferin also set on foot a 
system, which was completed by his successor, Lord Lansdowne, by 
which the irregular armies of the protected princes were reformed 
and reorganised. A feeling of loyalty to the British empire was so 
successfully encouraged that portions of these reorganised armies were 
regarded, and could indeed be used, as imperial troops. The presence 
of a considerable number of Indian princes at the Jubilee had given 
a signal proof of their acceptance of British rule. 

But side by side with this apparent loyalty there had arisen a 
movement among the middle classes which threatened Indian National 
at one time to be somewhat dangerous. A so-called congress. 
National Congress assembled at Calcutta in 1887, and continued to meet 


yearly, the number of delegates rising from 350 at the first meeting 
to nearly 2000 in 1889. The language of the orators was not always 
decorous, and claims were put forward for the introduction of popular 
and parliamentary government in India, a demand which the state 
of the country, and the position of the English there, rendered it 
impossible to grant. Expressions of disapprobation from the Viceroys 
seem to have had a good effect upon the principal members of the 
Congress ; the movement gradually declined, and it became little 
more than the mouthpiece of the class of educated Bengali Babus. 
But in estimating the position of the English in India, the opinion 
of that ever-increasing class, by whom the Press is largely worked, 
must always be taken into consideration. 

One incident which, for awhile, attracted much attention in 
Outbreak in England was an outbreak in Manipur. In 1890 the 

Manipur, 1891. Maharajah had been deposed by his brothers for 
incompetency. His successor had not proved satisfactoiy, and Mr. 
Quinton was sent, accompanied by some 500 troops, to set matters 
right. He summoned a Durbar, at which it was his intention to have 
arrested the Minister whose influence he believed to be the source 
of the misgovernment of the country. Warned in time, the Minister 
did not attend the Durbar. Some troops sent to apprehend him were 
fired upon, and the Residency was for many hours subjected to a 
sharp attack. In the evening Mr. Quinton and the other Englishmen 
were induced, on the pretext of a parley, to leave the Residency and 
visit the Palace. They were there assassinated (March 25, 1891). 
Armed intervention became necessary. With a small body of troops 
it was found possible to reassert British authority, and to place upon 
the throne a child, with the title of Rajah, under the care of a British 
officer. The wisdom of the attempt to change the Government, and 
the conduct of Mr. Quinton in planning the secret apprehension of 
the Minister, were severely criticised in England. 

Outside the complications of the European system, and the quarrels 
„. , indirectly connected with them, of which colonial 

Fishery . J . 

quarrels with expansion was the immediate cause, other questions 
of some importance, and not without a threatening 
aspect, arose between England and America. They were connected, 
as the French quarrel had been, with the rights of fishing, and 
affected both the eastern and western coasts of America. The first 
quarrel had reference to the eastern coast. The chief point at issue 
was the construction to be given to the long-established rule which 
granted territorial rights for a distance of three miles from the shore. 


The rights of the American fishermen to ply their trade and to land 
in Canadian ports had been the cause of much dispute and of several 
treaties. The Americans had to all appearance gone beyond their 
treaty rights ; and the Canadians, supported by the imperial Govern- 
ment, had seized and confiscated vessels fishing illegally. Very hot 
language had been used in America upon the subject, and threats had 
been uttered of such interruption of the intercourse between Canada 
and the States as would have caused a serious dislocation of trade. 
The American position was weak both legally and materially ; the 
extant treaties were distinctly in favour of the Canadian contention ; 
and the loss from interruption of intercourse would have pressed far 
more heavily upon the States than upon Canada. It was however 
thought desirable that the matter should be taken in hand by the 
British Government, and be treated as an international question. 
Accordingly, in 1887, Mr. Chamberlain crossed over to Canada; and 
there, in company with Sir Sackville West, the British Minister at 
Washington, and Sir Charles Tupper, the Canadian Minister in 
London, he met Mr. Bayard on the part of the United States, and 
concluded a treaty, signed on February 15, 1888. By this treaty the 
demands of the Americans were practically conceded. A clearer 
construction was given as to what constituted "territorial water." 
The large bays and gulfs exceeding three marine leagues in width 
were no longer to be regarded as inland seas, but were to be subject 
to the same rules as the open ocean ; the restrictions laid by the 
fundamental Treaty of 1818 upon the resort of American fishermen to 
Canadian ports were to be removed, although except within definite 
limits the actual right of fishing near the shore was withheld. Even 
this restriction was to be removed if the United States would consent 
to renew the reciprocal commerce of fish and fish-oil duty free. It 
was only after much opposition that the Canadian Parliament could 
be brought to consent, for the sake of peace, to a treaty entirely 
disadvantageous to Canada. The Canadian concessions were however 
useless. A Presidential election was imminent. The feeling in America 
of opposition to any compromise with England was strong; and, with 
a view to securing votes, the Republican party refused to agree to 
ratify the treaty, favourable though it was to American interests. 
Still more surprising was it that Mr. Cleveland, the Democratic 
candidate, and himself the chief author of the treaty, apparently for 
the purpose of outbidding his Republican opponents immediately 
denounced it and declared the necessity of retaliatory measures 
against Canada. The step was not a successful one on his part; 


General Harrison was elected President. Sir Julian Pauncefort took 
the place of Sir Sackville West, who, having unwisely mingled slightly 
in the political contest, had been obliged to withdraw. The treaty 
was abandoned, and the fishery question fell back into its old condition 
of uncertainty. 

The second cause of friction with the United States was the long- 
seai fishery standing dispute about the seal fishery in the Behrings 

quarrel. g ea< Russia had claimed the sea within the Aleutian 

Islands as an inland sea. The claim was preposterous, and England 
and America alike had frequently protested against it. In 1866 
Russia had sold Alaska, its property on the American continent, 
to the States. In spite of their former protest, the States at once 
assumed the Kussian position, and confiscated some English ships 
that had taken seals in the open sea. Their object was twofold, the 
retention of a valuable monopoly to the exclusion of the inhabitants 
of Vancouvers Island or Canada, and the maintenance of the supply 
of seals, for it was chiefly temales that were taken in the open sea. 
The ships which had been seized were condemned by the Local Court 
of Sitka in Alaska. The illegality of the verdict appeared so obvious 
that Lord Salisbury hoped to get it overruled by the Supreme Court. 
In this effort he failed, but he had at the same time taken the whole 
matter in hand, and had put it on a broader footing. He succeeded 
in bringing it to arbitration by a treaty signed in the early spring ot 
1892. After the lapse of a year the arbitrators made their report. 
It proved to be entirely in favour of the English contention as the 
law then stood ; compensation for the shipmasters whose goods had 
been confiscated was thus secured. But for the future new regulations 
were made in accordance with the American view, not on legal 
grounds, but in order to secure the preservation of the seals, an object 
which both disputants really had at heart. No fishing was henceforth 
allowed within sixty miles of the PribylofF Islands, the chief breeding- 
place of the seals ; and a close time was fixed, during which all seal 
fishing was forbidden. 

Every question as it arose had thus been handled with prudence 
summary of an( ^ without bluster. To the majority even of the 
foreign policy. Opposition the conduct of foreign affairs had appeared 
judicious. Such objections as were made came chiefly from men of 
Radical tendencies. The exponent of these views was Sir Charles Dilke, a 
man who had given much thought to the foreign relations of the country. 
In a speech to his constituents, he declared that he wished to destroy 
the myth that Lord Salisbury's policy had won the approbation of the 


Liberal party. He found much to blame in his policy of concession, 
and accused him of undue leaning to the Triple Alliance. The cession 
of Heligoland, which was a point of vast importance to Germany, and 
the whole arrangement of East Africa and Zanzibar were unnecessary 
concessions for which no adequate advantages had been obtained ; in 
Egypt alone had the right policy been pursued. This criticism is in- 
teresting, because one of the chief causes of mistrust felt in the incoming 
Ministry was the belief that Mr. Morley and others were eager to 
carry out the long-promised retirement from Egypt. It was a common 
idea that a determined foreign policy was the monopoly of the Con- 
servatives. But the attitude assumed by a speaker so Radical in his 
policy as Sir Charles Dilke, and the well-known views of Lord Rosebery, 
seemed to promise that British claims would be upheld at least as 
firmly by the new Ministry as by their predecessors. 


MR. GLADSTONE'S MINISTRY, August 15, 1892, to March 3, 1894. 


First Lord of the Treasury and Priv 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, 

Lord Chancellor, 

President of the Council, > 

Secretary for India, 5 

Home Secretary, .... 

Foreign Secretary, 

Colonial Secretary, 

War Secretary, .... 

First Lord of the Admiralty, 

President of the Board of Trade, 

Postmaster-General, . 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 

President of Local Government Board, 

Vice-President of the Council of Education 

First Commissioner of Works, . 

Chief Secretary for Scotland, 

Chief Secretary for Ireland, 

Lord Lieutenant, 
Lord Chancellor, 

Mr. Gladstone. 

Sir William Harcourt. 

Lord Herschell. 

Earl of Kimberley. 

Mr. Asquith. 

Lord Rosebery. 

Marquis of Ripon. 

Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman. 

Earl Spencer. 

Mr. Mundella. 

Mr. Arnold Morley. 

Mr. Bryce. 

Mr. H. H. Fowler. 

Mr. Arthur Acland. 

Mr. G. Shaw-Lefevre. 

Sir George Trevelyan. 

Mr. John Morley. 

Lord Houghton. 
Mr. Samuel Walker. 

The new 
during the 

THE general election, the vote of want of confidence, and the 
establishment in office of the new Government, was followed by 
an immediate prorogation. For five months the new Ministry was 
allowed to pursue its policy unquestioned, and to 
prepare for the coming struggle in January. The 
exact character of the expected Bill in favour of Home 
Rule was not disclosed. The speech-making fell chiefly to the Opposition. 
But the change of policy — conciliation as opposed to coercion — was 
at once visible. The general proclamation under the Crimes Act had 
already been withdrawn. There remained the special proclamation 
declaring the National League to be a dangerous association, and the two 
obnoxious clauses of the Crimes Act authorising the change of venue 
in trials and extended rights of search. These were all allowed to 
drop, and the Act became in Mr. Morley's hands entirely inoperative. 
Furthermore, the Irish Secretary did not shrink from moving in the diffi- 
cult matter of restitution of evicted tenants. A Royal Commission was 
appointed to inquire into their claims, at the head of which was set 


an English judge, Mr. Justice Mathew. The constitution of the 
Commission and the opening speech of Mr. Justice Mathew excited 
extreme anger among the Unionists. Mr. Morley did not hide the 
fact that the members of the Commission were chiefly of Nationalist 
tendencies. Mathew's speech contained certainly a strong indictment 
of some of the Irish landlords. It was evident that an attempt was 
to be made to govern Ireland without exceptional laws, and to treat 
with much sympathy and indulgence the claims and conduct of the 
Irish people. 

It was not in Ireland only that the respect for national wishes was 
shown. Mr. Gladstone had become so filled with ideas of nationality 
that to him the Welsh appeared scarcely less a separate na'ion than 
the Irish. In his speeches in Wales he implied in no doubtful manner 
that he would favourably consider the disestablishment of the Church 
in Wales as though it were a Welsh Church, and would throw no 
obstacle in the way of changes in the Welsh Land Law analogous to 
those he had carried out in Ireland. 

In England the questions which required immediate handling were 
the distress among the large class of unemployed and 


the clamorously demanded right of public meeting in square 
Trafalgar Square. Both Mr. Mundella, President of meetin ^ s - 
the Board of Trade, and Mr. Asquith, the Home Secretary, showed 
skill and firmness in meeting the difficulties which arose. While 
listening with much sympathy to the case of the unemployed, Mr. 
Mundella made it plain that legislation in their favour was impossible ; 
but at the same time he organised in his office a Labour Department, 
from which he hoped they would derive much benefit. Mr. Asquith, 
adhering to the view that the use of Trafalgar Square was a privilege 
and not a right, consented to allow meetings to be held there under 
certain limitations and conditions to be arranged with the police. 
The measure proved successful. A full meeting or two were held, 
and then, opposition having disappeared, they gradually dwindled to 

Abroad there was no dislocation of policy. Nowhere was the 
expected weakness of the Government visible. As to Fo reign 
Uganda, where the East African Company had proved affairs, 
unable to maintain its position, the Foreign Office desired further 
information, but showed no signs of being willing recklessly to with- 
draw ; a special commissioner, with very large powers, was appointed 
to examine the position in all its aspects. In Egypt, though Mr. 
Scott Moncrief and Sir Alfred Milner were recalled, it was only 


because they were wanted at home. Their places were satisfactorily 
filled. Colonel Kitchener was put at the head of the Egyptian Army 
as Sirdar, and Sir Evelyn Baring (now become Lord Cromer) continued 
to exercise his great beneficial influence over the Khedival Govern- 
ment. Various difficulties however seemed to be threatening. Abbas, 
the young Khedive, who had succeeded his father in the beginning of 
1892, began to show signs of restlessness. Not unnaturally, there was 
always a party in Egypt which, either from a real nationalist feeling 
or won over by the intrigues of France, was strongly opposed to the 
British supremacy. This party hailed the efforts of Abbas to assume 
a more independent position and to assert his right of nominating his 
own Ministers by the removal of Mustapha Fehmi, and the appoint- 
ment of Fakri, a member of the Nationalist party, as chief Minister. 
The firm attitude assumed by Lord Cromer overawed the Khedive, 
and a compromise was effected by which Riaz Pasha was placed at 
the head of the Government (January 1893). The support given 
to Lord Cromer by the English Government, made evident to the 
Egyptians by an increase of the army of occupation, enabled him to 
encounter successfully for the time the rising feeling of the Nationalists. 
But the year did not pass without further indications of dissatisfaction, 
which required to be met by great tact and self-restraint. Fortunately 
the required skill was not found wanting, and the general course of im- 
provement both in financial and in public works continued unchecked. 

The Queen's Speech at the opening of Parliament (January 1893) 
opening of made clear to the public what had already been fore- 

Pariiament. shadowed in Ministerial utterances, that, while the 
first place in the Liberal programme was to be occupied by Home 
Rule, many other items of what was known as the Newcastle pro- 
gramme were to find a place in it. Bills were promised for improved 
registration, and for the "establishment of equality of franchise by the 
limitation of each elector to a single vote ; for defining employers' 
liability ; for the limitation in certain cases of the hours of labour ; for 
the creation of parish councils ; for securing local option ; and for 
"preventing the growth of new vested interests in ecclesiastical 
establishments in Scotland and Wales," a preliminary step towards dis- 
establishment. As was foreseen at the time, as the Ministers themselves 
must indeed have foreseen, but few of these measures were carried 
through. The way was still stopped by the Home Rule question. 

The " Government of Ireland " Bill, produced as soon as the Address 
Home Rule was passed, differed considerably from that of 1886. 

Bui, 1893. fta Irish Legislature was to consist, as in England, 

1893] HOME RULE BILL 165 

of two bodies regarded as representing an upper and a lower House, 
a legislative council and a legislative assembly. The Council and the 
Assembly were to be elected by different constituencies, the first by 
those rated at £20, the second, 103 in number, by the existing con- 
stituencies. The legislature was to busy itself exclusively with Irish 
affairs. Questions of peace and war, of treason, of the law of aliens, 
and of external trade were withdrawn from its purview. Religious 
freedom was to be secured. The Viceroy was to be appointed for six 
years, irrespective of religion or party. An executive committee of the 
Irish Privy Council was to act as his Cabinet. Subject to the sanction 
of the Sovereign and the advice of his Cabinet, he had the power of 
veto on Irish Bills. If the two Houses disagreed, they were to be 
called to meet in common, and the question was to be left in the hands 
of this joint meeting. An appeal lay to the Privy Council, if the Irish 
Pailiament should overstep its constitutional rights. As a precaution, 
in order to secure the purity of the Bench, the judges were to be 
irremovable ; two of them were to be specially appointed to consider 
financial questions. The Irish constabulary, left during the period of 
transition under the authority of the English administration, was to be 
gradually absorbed into a local police. The financial arrangements 
might be reconsidered after fifteen years. Thus far the Irish constitution 
only was considered. The more difficult questions connected with its 
relation to England remained. One of the chief objections to the former 
Bill had been the exclusion of Irish members from the central Parliament, 
which was regarded as incompatible with its imperial character. The 
counter arguments alleged had rested on the impropriety of allowing 
the Irish, over whose affairs Great Britain had no longer any control, 
to exercise what might at times prove a paramount influence over 
English affairs. In the new Bill Mr. Gladstone attempted to avoid the 
dilemma. Reduced in number to 80, the Irish members were to enjoy 
a limited right of voting in the imperial Parliament. A line was drawn 
between what was exclusively English and what was imperial. 
Questions expressly confined to Great Britain, taxes not levied in 
Ireland, and appropriation of money for anything except imperial 
services, were withdrawn from their cognizance. The financial 
arrangements had been also modified, and the payment of a lump 
sum by Ireland (which had been stigmatised as tribute) disappeared 
from the Bill. The Irish Budget, as explained by Mr. Gladstone, 
could be so arranged as to place in the hands of the Irish Legislature 
a surplus of £500,000. Certain changes took place subsequently in 
these arrangements; and finally the payment from Ireland was 


calculated upon its actual contribution at the time to the imperial 
revenue. It appeared that after the expenditure of the Irish revenue 
upon Irish objects, the amount payable to the imperial exchequer 
would amount to about £2,300,000. From this had to be deducted 
for the present the £500,000 a year which England undertook to pay 
for the maintenance of the constabulary. 

No sooner was this Bill introduced than the Government hurried 

to fulfil the wishes of the English reformers. In rapid 

succession the Bills promised in the Queen's Speech 

were introduced, though the tactics of the Opposition prevented any 

of them from advancing far beyond the first stages. 

The already well-known determination of the House of Lords to 
throw out the Home Rule Bill prevented it from 

Bitter op- , . L 

position to arousing outside the House the enthusiasm which had 

accompanied the earlier Bill. But within the House it 
afforded opportunity for a somewhat reckless exhibition of the powers 
of the Opposition. It is instructive to. the student of party politics 
to observe that, while the Bill of 1886 had been chiefly condemned on 
the ground that the exclusion from Westminster of the Irish members 
derogated from the dignity of the imperial Parliament, the present 
Bill was chiefly assaulted on the ground that the presence of the Irish 
members even though limited in numbers and with a restricted right 
of voting was disastrous to the real interests of imperial legislation. 
In fact, the struggle in the House was a mere faction fight. As 
usual it was in the Committee stage that the warfare was carried on 
with most determination. Every point was subjected to the most 
captious criticism, and the spirit of party ran so high that all the 
decencies of Parliamentary usage were forgotton. While members 
of the majority were not ashamed to stigmatise Mr. Chamberlain as 
"Judas," an audible whisper of "murderer" was thought a fitting 
accompaniment to the mention of Mr. Davitt's name. The Com- 
mittee indeed did not close without an indecent exhibition of 
personal violence. No doubt such utterances came chiefly from the 
rank and file, but outside the House the leaders did not lag much 
behind their followers. " The Government/' said Mr. Chamberlain, 
" are using their opportunity to betray the interests of the country, 
sacrificing them to men who have been the bane of their own 
country, but who shall not be the ruin of ours." " An intolerable, 
an imbecile, an accursed Bill," was what Lord Salisbury called it ; 
while Lord Randolph Churchill declared that the Irish leaders were 
" political brigands and nihilists," and that the Government had been 

1893] HOME RULE BILL 167 

" as capricious as a woman, and as impulsive and passionate as a 
horde of barbarians." 

Beyond the introduction and explanation of the numerous promised 
measures, the Government had been unable to advance Home Rule 
before Easter in face of the eager opposition which they debates, 
encountered, and which culminated in the introduction of a vote of 
censure on the 27th of March. So persistent were the opponents 
of the Bill, so nearly allied to obstruction were their methods, 
that Mr. Gladstone, with the acquiescence of all sections of the 
majority, declared his intention of taking all the time of the House 
for Government business, and his determination after the briefest of 
vacations to introduce the second reading of the Home Rule Bill on 
the Gth of April. On that day the great struggle began. Seldom has 
the House of Commons more thoroughly earned its title to be con- 
sidered a Parliament. If talking was desirable, there was undoubtedly 
enough of it. For twelve nights a continual flow of words, sometimes 
eloquent, sometimes reasonable, but seldom adducing any new argu- 
ments, filled the House. There were of course in a measure of such 
importance abundant points on which opinions might vary. Most 
of these received attention from the Opposition. But the main 
objections were still the same as of old, the desertion of the loyal 
minority, the inefficiency of any guarantee of imperial supremacy, the 
danger of intrusting government to men so reckless as to have con- 
ceived "the plan of campaign," and now the added argument that 
the limitation of the voting power in the imperial Parliament, and 
the restrictions laid on the subjects within the cognizance of the 
proposed local Parliament, were derogatory to the Irish and incon- 
sistent even with the avowed object of the Bill. This seemed indeed 
to be chiefly a matter for the Irish themselves, and although Mr. 
Redmond and his followers refused to accept the Bill as final, the 
Irish party as a whole welcomed it with some enthusiasm. The 
arguments in favour of the Bill showed no greater novelty. Mr. 
Gladstone, in closing the debate, still put prominently forward his 
trust in the Irish people, the failure for the last six 3'ears of that 
steady coercion, or, as they called it, " firm government," which the 
Unionists had claimed as the panacea for Irish ills, and the great 
moral duty which lay upon England to rectify the misgovernment of 
Biz hundred years. A majority of 42, the full majority which the 
Ministry could claim, including the Irish, supported the second 
reading (April 21). 

But, long though its passage had been, the Bill was far from having 


reached smooth water. The Committee stage lay before it, and the 
tactics of the Opposition were avowedly to destroy it 

Home Rule . ,, u ! , ., T , /. ., . J 

Bill in com- if they could not stop it. It was plain that every 
mittee. p j nt won \<\ b e fought at exorbitant length; it took 

five days to carry the first clause, which was concerned with the 
supremacy of the imperial executive. 

Mr. Gladstone at first showed himself somewhat conciliatory, and 

accepted amendments from the opposition so freely as 
tine," June 29, to excite the anger of the Irish and even to threaten 

a dissolution of the party. He found himself almost 
compelled to take up a stifFer. attitude. The struggle thus became 
still more embittered, and the Committee, which began its sittings on 
the 8th of May, had by the 28th of June got no further than the fourth 
clause. It became absolutely necessary that some measure should be 
taken to vindicate the authority of the majority. On the following day 
Mr. Gladstone introduced a resolution of which he had given previous 
notice. The clauses of the Bill were divided into sections, and a time 
limit was fixed, within which all the clauses in each section were to be 
put to the vote, whether they had been debated or not. The opposition 
to such a resolution was of course vehement. Mr. Balfour stigmatised 
it as an attempt to silence the voice of Great Britain. The Govern- 
ment and their supporters refused to join in the debate, in spite of 
the taunts of their adversaries. Mr. Chamberlain declared that they 
were " the slaves of the Irish party." " There sit the men," said he, 
pointing to the Irish members, " who pull the strings of the Prime 
Minister of England. The British empire is being sold by private 
treaty." The resolution was, however, carried by a majority of 32. 
There thus arose a second precedent for what has been since known 
as the guillotine. Once before, in 1887, a similar resolution had 
been found necessary in order to force the Crimes Bill through 
committee. But Mr. Gladstone had evidently shrunk from using 
the precedent, and had only introduced his resolution with extreme 
regret and under a feeling of its absolute necessity. He pointed 
out that the real question was whether the majority should or 
should not prevail, " If the will of the majority was not allowed 
to prevail, Parliamentary institutions would be a mockery 
and an imposture." That, in spite of their violent outcries 
against this method of procedure, the Conservatives should have 
subsequently adopted it, seems to show that in face of an ener- 
getic and factious minority some such method is a matter of 

1893] HOME RULE BILL 169 

As a matter of course, it now became the business of the Opposition 
to brine discredit on the Bill by preventing the dis- „ 

- • r • ti i-ii Debate on 

cussion of many of its clauses. It thus resulted that retention of 
not more than ten of the original forty clauses were ris m ' 
discussed at all. One alone, clause 9, of the third section occupied 
the whole week allowed for that section. It must be confessed how- 
ever that it concerned the most important and difficult subject of the 
Bill, the retention of the Irish members in the imperial Parliament. 
On this point, Mr. Gladstone found it necessary entirely to change the 
original provisions of the Bill. Explaining that there were three 
possible means of solution — the absence of the Irish members, their 
complete presence, or their occasional presence with limited powers 
of voting — he stated that the Government were willing to be led by 
the wishes of the House. He himself had preferred and had suggested 
in his Bill of 188G the entire removal of the Irish members from the 
House, and it had been the chief cause of the failure of that Bill. He 
would willingly have withdrawn from that position and have admitted 
them freely, but as there were frequent expressions of a strong feeling 
against this step, he and his colleagues did not think it right to urge 
the representatives of Great Britain " to accept a system under which 
members coming from Ireland were at the same time to have a 
complete command over their own domestic affairs, and to possess 
a power of controlling the domestic affairs of Great Britain equal to 
that possessed by those who represented Great Britain." The 
Government, he said, had therefore adopted the system of limited 
voting, but were willing to accept any change in this respect which 
the House preferred. The majority appeared to favour the uncon- 
ditional admission of the Irish members to the Parliament at 
Westminster, and it was in this form that clause 9 was passed. When 

the fatal day arrived on which the knife of the guillo- 

.. ... „ Riotous scenes 

tine was to tall on all the remaining clauses, a scene of in the House, 

violence probably unprecedented in Parliament was Aue:ust1893 - 

presented. Mr. Chamberlain had used the words with regard to the 

regularity with which his party followed Mr. Gladstone, " The Prime 

Minister calls ' black,' and they say ' it is good ; ' he calls ' white/ and 

they say ' it is better.' It is always the voice of a god ; never since 

the time of Herod has there been such slavish adulation." At the 

name of " Herod " a furious storm arose, amidst which were heard 

cries of " Judas." It was in vain that the Chairman tried to enforce 

the closure. Some how or other, in the midst of the uproar, blows 

were given, and indescribable disorder for some minutes raged. It was 


hushed however by the return of the Speaker, and the forty-seventh 
and last sitting of the Committee was at length brought to an end. 
A few days afterwards (August 30) the third reading was taken. 
Again exceptions were raised to the principles of the Bill, but at last, 
on the 1st of September, it was carried by a majority of 34 in a House 
of 568. An examination of the minority showed that without the 
Irish members the Government would have failed to carry the Bill by 
23 votes. 

There was no doubt as to the reception of the Bill when it was 
„ , brought before the House of Lords. A House of 

Home Rule °. 

rejected in the hereditary legislators is almost of necessity conserva- 
tive ; a House which represents property, and little 
else, can scarcely fail to object to any change which threatens the 
form of society on which its position depends. It was to a very 
willing audience that Lord Salisbury had propounded his plausible 
theory that, although it might be unwise, even perhaps impossible, for 
the House of Lords to withstand the firmly expressed wishes of the 
nation, it had the power, and indeed the duty, of insisting upon the 
clear expression of the national opinion, and of forcing a dissolution if 
it believed that the House of Commons did not truly represent the 
feeling of the people. This was the line of argument pursued by the 
Duke of Devonshire, to whom, as leader of the Liberal Unionists, was 
given the task of replying to Lord Spencer's introduction of the 
second reading of the Bill. To that argument no doubt what had 
taken place in the Lower House gave additional weight. The small 
majority, the sudden change of opinion in Committee as to the retention 
of Irish members, the paucity of amendments moved from the 
Ministerial side, and the wholesale application of the closure, almost 
unprecedented and bearing the appearance of a violent restriction of 
the right of free debate, certainly gave colour to the assertion that 
the Bill was little more than the expression of the views of one man, 
by whose imperious will it had been forced through the House. The 
debate lasted four days. It was remarkable for a virulent and able 
attack upon Mr. Gladstone by the Duke of Argyll, for a very temperate 
and sympathetic speech from Lord Spencer, and for a playful argument 
from Lord Rosebery, who concealed his real earnestness under a tone 
of easy banter, but whose arguments disclosed that opportunist temper 
which has constantly marked his career. " Home Rule was not to him 
a fanaticism nor a question of sentiment, scarcely even a question of 
history, nor a council of perfection, but merely the best thing which 
could be done under the circumstances." But from whichever side 

1893] ENGLISH BILLS 171 

the speaking came, it was well understood that it could have no 
effect ; the conclusion was foregone. In an unusually crowded House 
there were but 41 votes in favour of the Bill, while 419 joined in 
rejecting it. 

Time had undoubtedly favoured the Unionist cause. The extra- 
ordinary powers of delay which are inherent in the „ „ , „.„ 

• l . . J . .... English Bills 

constitution, and the conservative temper which, in proceeded 
spite of the general energy and progressive force of W1 
the people, is the marked characteristic of the English race, had had 
an opportunity of asserting themselves. While the relief which the 
Irish had been taught to expect was kept in abe} r ance, strong in their 
hope for the future they had for awhile laid aside those extreme 
measures of discontent which had compelled England to take notice 
of them. The tension was relaxed, and the Irish question, grave 
though it was, no longer held its place as the one great necessary 
question to be solved. Those men who felt deeply the necessity 
of changes in England itself were no longer content to postpone the 
realisation of the reforms they had at heart. If the great composite 
Liberal party was to be kept together, it was necessary that some 
attempt should be made to satisfy its most eager supporters. From 
a mere party point of view, whether for the general Liberal interest 
or to secure the passage of the Home Kule Bill, a consolidation of 
interests was a necessary preliminary to a new general election. The 
claim of the House of Lords to force a dissolution was therefore entirely 
disregarded, and the Government proceeded to carry forward some of 
the items of that over-extensive programme with which they had 
ushered in the session. 

A measure had already been introduced for the improvement of Parlia- 
mentary registration. It was admitted that many of Registration 
the anomalies of the existing system w T ere cured by it ; Bin - 
but some of the younger Conservatives, seeing in it, as they said, rather 
a small Reform liill than a Registration Bill, succeeded in stopping its 
course and referring it to a Select Committee, and it was no further 
heard of. A similar disaster befell all attempts at temperance legisla- 
tion. A Local Option Bill had been introduced, by Temperance 
which a certain number of electors might claim a BiDs - 
poll, and, if a two-thirds majority was there obtained, the issue of 
new licences and the renewal of the old licences were to be alike 
stopped for three years. The Bill refused to recognise any right of 
compensation to the existing licence holders, but allowed them three 
years' grace. The Bishop of Chester, in the Upper House, treated of 


the same subject from a different point of view, and introduced a plan 
for the adoption of what is known as the Gothenburg system. A 
company was to be formed in any area which expressed a desire for 
it, and was to have entire command of the public-houses, which it 
was to be allowed to purchase at a price fixed by arbitration. Beyond 
a dividend of 5 per cent, all profits of the trade were to be devoted 
to public improvements in the area ; the number of public-houses was 
fixed at one to every thousand inhabitants in towns, one to every six 
hundred in the country. Neither the Government Bill nor the 
Bishop's Bill got as far as the second reading. But besides these 
abortive efforts, two Bills of prime importance, the Employers 1 Liability 
Bill and the Parish Councils Bill, had been introduced and fairly 
launched upon their career. The dilatory tactics of the Opposition 
made it impossible to do more than complete the necessary financial 
work before the close of the session, although Government took to 
itself the whole time of the House and kept it sitting till late in 

An autumn session, to begin on the 2d of November, and to last, as 
Autumn ses- Mr- Gladstone prophesied, till Christmas, was a matter 
sion, Nov. 2. f necessity. The Government determined to press 
forward and to carry at least the two Bills which had ahead} 7, made 
some progress. They were to be regarded as " non-contentious " — that 
is though they had not passed the second reading, their principle was 
to be regarded as accepted, and their second reading to be at once 
taken. The epithet "non-contentious" proved strangely ill applied. 
The whole session was occupied in a long and detailed struggle over 
their clauses. 

The Parish Councils Bill was undertaken as a completion and 
Parish enlargement of the Local Government Act of 1888. 

councils Bin. i t was to apply to the rural districts only. The 
numerous authorities — such as the Rural Sanitary Authorities, the 
Improvement Commissioners, the Local Boards, and the Highway 
Authorities — were to be reconstituted as District Councils. Below 
them in the hierarchy of authorities was to stand the Parish Council 
as the primary unit of local administration. In every parish there 
was to be constituted a parish meeting ; and in villages of over 300 
inhabitants, or in groups of smaller parishes, there was to be a Parish 
Council. To this Council was to be given the powers hitherto held 
by the Vestry, in all matters not directly affecting the Church. It 
was to appoint the overseers, to hold the parish property, the adminis- 
tration of the Allotment Act, and the charities with the exception of 


those belonging to the Church. In order to carry out its duties, the 
Pcarish Council was to be armed with powers to hire and to purchase 
laud compulsorily. It was also charged with the right of calling on the 
County Council to set the District Council in motion, if its duties as 
to sanitation or highways were neglected. All elections were to be 
carried on by ballot and on the "one man one vote " principle ; this 
included the election of the Board of Guardians, from which all 
ex-ojjiciu members were henceforward to be excluded. 

As in the case of the extension of the franchise to the labourer, and 
in the case of the establishment of local government, second read- 
the opposition which the Bill encountered rested on the councJ^Bm. 
instinctive mistrust of the class below them felt by the Nov - 7 - 
wealthier classes. They could not bring themselves to believe that 
compulsory powers could be safely intrusted to the labourer, or that 
such an instrument would not be used as a weapon against themselves. 
The transference of the management of the charities seemed to open 
a door to unrestrained jobbery, and the removal of the existing trustees 
seemed an uncalled-for attack on the vested interests of their own 
class. It was with more reason that they dreaded the suggested 
changes in the administration of the Poor Law; it was not unreason- 
able to suppose that the judicious relief of poverty, at all times a 
matter of great difficulty, would in the hands of the members of a 
Parish Council degenerate before long into a system of indiscriminate 
outdoor relief involving an undue expenditure of public funds. It 
was upon these points that the discussion chiefly turned. An oppor- 
tunity occurred which enabled the opponents of the Bill to justify 
their lengthened opposition to what was supposed to be a non-con- 
tentious measure. They were able to assert that with respect to the 
transference of the charities the principle of the Bill had been tampered 
with. Mr. Fowler, in introducing the Bill, had promised to deal 
liberally with the existing trustees ; and this had been regarded as an 
essential part of the Bill. But the feeling of the Radical wing of the 
party in favour of putting the charities in the hands of the people 
themselves was so strong, that the Government thought it necessary 
to accept an amendment from their own side by which a majority, at 
all events, of the trustees should be elected by the Parish Council. 
Mr. Fowler's promise seemed thus to be entirely ignored. Nor did 
the Poor Law clauses escape without alteration. The Opposition 
urged that the whole question of Poor Law administration should be 
withdrawn from the Bill and treated as a separate matter. The 
Government declined to yield on this point, and successfully resisted 


all attempts to reintroduce ex-ojficio or nominated members of the 
Board of Guardians. But with a view of making some concession to 
the claims of the wealthier classes, they consented to allow the Parish 
Council to elect its chairman and vice-chairman and one or two other 
members from outside its own body. Boom was thus made for the rein- 
troduction into the Council of a few men of influence. Even with these 
concessions the Bill could not be brought to a conclusion before Christ- 
mas ; and it was found necessary to continue the session in the new year. 
The same fate attended the Employers' Liability Bill. The struggle 
Employers' waxed hottest over the clauses which forbade " con- 

iiiabiiity Bill. tracting out." It was an essential part of the Bill that 
no individual workman should have the power of contracting himself 
out of its provisions, and it was this compulsory character which gave 
it its chief value in the eyes of the Trades Unionists and of that party 
which was eager for the extension of what was sometimes spoken of as 
State Socialism. There already existed, especially in large firms and 
mercantile concerns, schemes of mutual insurance to which master 
and man alike contributed. The Opposition urged that the new Bill 
would deal a heavy blow at the liberty of the individual workman, 
and go far to destroy an arrangement which was not only quite as 
advantageous to the workman as that which the Bill proposed, but 
which offered a sure and easy method of closing the gap so often 
found between the interests of employer and employed. The Bill 
was however read a third time in the House of Commons (November 
23). In the House of Lords it encountered fresh and more successful 
opposition. The large employers, such as Lord Dudley and Lord 
Stalbridge, protested against the destruction of their insurance schemes, 
and prophesied the certain diminution of amicable relations. The 
Duke of Argyll, as usual, talked vehemently in favour of individual 
liberty, while Lord Salisbury threw all his weight into the same scale. 
The practical step taken was the acceptance of an amendment moved 
by Lord Dudley. Basing his action upon an amendment moved by 
Mr. Maclaren and carried in the Lower House, by which great existing 
insurance schemes were omitted from the action of the Bill, Lord 
udle Dudley moved an amendment carrying the matter a 

Amendment, step further, and including in the exceptions not only 
present but future insurance schemes. The effect of 
the amendment was little less than the establishment of the general 
right of u contracting out." It was accepted in the House of Lords by 
a large majority. When the Bill was returned to the Commons, this 
amendment was opposed with all its strength by the Government, who 


went so far as to declare that its adoption would be fatal to the Bill ; 
and, in spite of the influence of Mr. Chamberlain, who stigmatised the 
action of the Government as a mere attempt to get up a cry against 
the House of Lords, the rejection of the amendment was carried 
(December 21) by the full majority of 62, and the Bill returned to the 
Upper House. 

The two Bills were thus left incomplete when Parliament adjourned 
for Christmas, with the expectation of a still further prolongation of 
a session which was already of unprecedented length. As Mr. 
Gladstone, in spite of the many hard things which were said as to his 
arbitrary nature, was far too fully imbued with the old traditions 
of Parliament to look with favour upon the frequent employment of 
the closure, some other method had to be adopted to get the hotly 
contested Parish Councils Bill through the House of _ 

, , Compromise on 

Commons. Means were found in a compromise, which Parish 
was arranged between the leaders of the two parties, oun cisBiii. 
on the two great points at issue. In addition to the chairman or vice- 
chairman, Boards of Guardians were to be allowed to co-opt two other 
members ; and the definition of ecclesiastical charity was slightly altered. 
On the other side, the opposition to compulsory hiring of allotments 
was to be withdrawn if certain limits as to the character of the land 
hired were introduced, ostensibly for the protection of the tenant- 
fanner and landlord. It was thus found possible (on January 4) to 
get through all the remaining clauses of the Bill. Both Bills having 
now passed the Lower House, an adjournment was moved on the 12th 
of January in order to allow the House of Lords time to consider 
them. The Employers' Liability Bill had already been before the 
Upper House, and had been largely altered. It was now again sent 
back to the Lower House with the alterations confirmed. The 
reception of the Parish Councils Bill was not more conciliatory. All 
the chief provisions of the Bill were more or less altered. The 
population necessary to authorise a Parish Council was raised, the 
right of hiring land was placed under closer control, Parish Coun . 
the franchise of voters at the parish meeting was ciis Bin in the 
limited, the financial clauses were altered, and the 
transference of the management of the charities from the old trustees 
to elective boards was disallowed. Thus far the Conservatives, with 
their allies the Liberal Unionists, in spite of grave warnings from the 
Government benches, had had it all their own way. There seemed 
however to be a line beyond which the conservative energy of the 
Liberal Unionists would not carry them. A motion of the Earl of 


Onslow demanding that no one should vote either at a meeting or a 
council who had not personally paid his rates, a motion which if carried 
would have entailed the wholesale disfranchisement of the labourer, 
at length roused the Duke of Devonshire to the declaration that he 
could not allow as practical or politic, considering the position of the 
two Houses, so wide a policy of disfranchisement. Lord Salisbury, 
although he continued to impress upon his hearers as a grave and 
fatal defect in the Bill, that it placed the power of expending the rates 
in the hands of those who did not personally pay rates, yielded to 
the pressure of his allies and recommended in face of the Duke of 
Devonshire's attitude the withdrawal of the motion. Enough had 
certainly been done to show the determination of the Lords to throw 
every obstacle in the way of the Liberal Government. 

When the House of Commons reassembled (February 12), the two 
Parish Coun- Bills were sent back to them for consideration entirely 
ciis Bm passed, changed in their character by the action of the Upper 
House. Was the Government to allow itself to be thus overriden? 
There was every indication of the approach of a severe constitutional 
struggle. Strengthened by the action of the Liberal Unionists in the 
House of Lords, the Government found it possible to reject most of 
the Lord's amendments with respect to the Parish Councils Bill. 
After a somewhat lengthened interchange of opinions and sending to 
and fro of the Bill, it was found possible to arrive at compromises 
_ , . fairly satisfactory to both parties, and the Bill was at 

Employers ^ .... 

Liability Bill length passed. The Employers' Liability Bill met a dif- 
roppe " ferent fate. Although Lord Dudley's amendment was 

again rejected by a majority of 22, certain cross voting so reduced the 
majority that a sort of compromise setting a time limit to the operations 
of the Bill was carried against the Government by two votes. It 
was not to be expected that so feebly supported an opposition would 
produce much result or "affect the vote of the House of Lords. 
The Bill was sent up (February 19) only to be again returned with 
the Commons' amendment disallowed. It had been Mr. Gladstone's 
intention firmly to withstand the action of the Peers. Their persistent 
opposition to the ministerial measures had driven him to regard the 
assertion of the supremacy of the Lower House as an object of the 
first importance. He had hoped to vindicate the power of the 
Commons by carrying the simple formula " that the Lords' amendments 
be set aside." The triumph which he had promised himself was 
denied him ; it was discovered that this striking form could be used 
only when the privileges of the Commons were touched. The 


expectation of the public had been raised to a high pitch, and it 

seemed a sorry conclusion when the Prime Minister was compelled to 
confine himself to a motion which led at once to the entire dropping 
of the Bill. The Lords had proved too strong for him. He had not 
indeed been forced to accept their amendments, but he had been 
obliged to allow their power of destruction. At length, on March 3, 
1894, the session which had begun in January 1893 was brought to 
an end. 

Disposed to peace in moderation as Mr. Gladstone was, and great as 
was his dislike to the acquisition of new imperial responsibilities, he 
found it at times impossible to withstand the pressure brought to bear 
upon him. What is sometimes spoken of as "the The Matabeie 
natural expansion of the race," the offspring of the War > 1893 - 
eager search for wealth disguised under that form of patriotism which 
sets before it as its object the extension of the empire, was too strong 
for him. Thus it happened in the case of the Matabeie War in 1893. 
A body of adventurers had been enrolled as a Chartered Company 
under the influence of Mr. Cecil Rhodes in 1889, to hold and ad- 
minister a territory in South Africa which by a liberal interpretation 
of agreements was held to have been conceded by Lobengula, Chief 
of the Matabeie, the dominant tribe of intrusive Zulus. The territory 
in question lay north of the Transvaal and to the west of the Portuguese 
settlement on the coast, and was known as Mashonaland. A quarrel 
between the warlike Matabeie and their former vassals the Mashonas 
produced a raid of so cruel and devastating a character that the 
European settlers were driven to resist it. As was inevitable in the 
general confusion, the Matabeie were unable to draw a clear line 
between the territory of the Chartered Company and territory under 
British protection. The frontier of the Bechuanaland Protectorate 
was violated, and it became impossible for the imperial Government 
to stand aloof. The invasion of Lobengula's territory was authorised, 
and resulted, after some severe fighting, in the complete overthrow of 
the Matabeie power. Bulawayo, Lobengula's chief town, was occupied, 
while he himself fled towards the north and died early in the following 
year. A vast addition was thus made to the country already ad- 
ministered by the Chartered Company. Under the name of Rhodesia 
it entered upon a rapid though not uninterrupted course of social and 
material progress. 

Long though the session had been, its result was very scanty ; very 
few of the great Government measures had been Cl0se of Qlad . 
brought to completion. But though a legislative stone's career. 

VICT. \ 


failure, it had been in many ways a personal triumph for the Minister. 
He had shown no signs of weakness in his management of his party. 
Though unable to satisfy his Radical followers, who, irritated by the 
lengthy struggle and extreme pertinacity of the Opposition, were 
threatening to force his hand, he still found himself at the head of 
a united party. He had upheld the dignity of the Ministry. He had 
refused to allow the Opposition to force upon him against his will a 
declaration of his plan for national defence. He had accepted the 
full responsibility for the Matabele War. He had defended with skill 
and temper the action of the Lord Chancellor, rudely assaulted by the 
Radicals for not immediately filling the Bench with Liberal Partisans. 
It was the last of his triumphs. The close of the session was something 
much more important than the cessation of a term of Parliamentary 
struggle. It was the close of the political life of one of the most 
remarkable statesmen ever produced by England. His impeachment 
of the House of Lords, during the discussion of the Lords' amendments 
to the Parish Councils Bill, was the last speech delivered by Mr. Glad- 
stone in Parliament. A political life of more than sixty years, during 
much of which he had occupied a position of influence seldom equalled, 
was drawing to its natural conclusion ; and though at eighty-four years of 
age he was still exhibiting a marvellous intellectual readiness, and a 
mastery of the details of party management which enabled him to hold 
the various sections of his followers together as no one else could have 
done, yet the infirmities of age were beginning to make themselves felt. 
Both ear and eye had lost something of their old acuteness, and the 
mind, whose versatility was still remarkable, was losing its sense of 
proportion, and was acquiring something of the old man's pertinacity 
in the pursuit of a single object. The speech which he delivered, and 
which many people at the time understood to be his last, was in no 
sense a farewell address, there were no personal allusions. Yet in its 
deeper meaning it marked a consciousness that the hour for retirement 
had struck. The great objects to which the last years of his life had 
been directed, the removal of the blot upon the empire caused by the 
persistent hostility of Ireland, and the establishment of a just and 
acceptable form of government there, had been ruined ; the force on 
which he had relied to attain them, the force of the popular will of a 
well-ordered democracy, had been suddenly and completely checked. 
Wealth, property, aristocracy, typified in the House of Lords, and 
making full use of the constitutional powers of that House, had been 
strong enough to impose their will upon the nation, not on this 
question only, but on every other. In Mr. Gladstone's eyes the House 


of Lords had become the great obstacle to every form of advance. It 
was not, as lie explained, the little amendments which 

1 ' . Gladstone s 

he was now accepting which were the real points at last speech, 

uixT n i i. j.1 i. i. March 1,1804. 

issue. " \\ e are compelled to accompany that accept- 
ance," he said, " with the sorrowful declaration that the differences, 
not of a casual or temporary nature merely, but differences of con- 
viction, differences of prepossession, differences of mental habit, and 
differences of fundamental tendency, between the House of Lords 
and the House of Commons, appear to have reached a development 
in the present year such as to create a state of things of which we 
are compelled to say that in our judgment it cannot continue. The 
issue which is raised between a deliberative assembly elected by the 
votes of more than six million people, and a deliberative assembly 
occupied by many men of virtue, by many men of talent, of course 
with considerable diversities and varieties, is a controversy which 
when once raised must go forward to an issue. . . . My duty terminates 
by calling the attention of the House to the tact, which it is really 
impossible to set aside, that in considering these amendments, limited 
as their scope may seem to be, we are considering a part, an essential 
and inseparable part, of a question enormously large, a question which 
has become profoundly acute, which will demand a settlement, and 
must receive at an early date that settlement from the highest 
authority. 1 ' Although this question, except for a brief space, has not 
assumed the exact shape which Mr, Gladstone foresaw, he was right 
in his prophecy. His departure from political life is coincident with 
a strong reaction towards the old conservative ideals. The claims of 
property and wealth have continually risen into prominence ; and class 
distinctions, none the less real because tempered by a kindly and 
patronising interest in the well-being of the lower orders, have resumed 
much of their old strength. 

For four years longer Mr. Gladstone lived in retirement, vigorous 
and active-minded to the last. A painful illness, mag- Gladstone's 
naniinously borne, came to a close on May 19, 1898. death - 
The storms of party warfare which had beaten so wildly around him 
were for a moment hushed. The fervid admiration he had won, the 
political hatred he had excited, were merged in a touching unanimity 
of respectful regret and acknowledgment of his transcendent abilities, 
as the grave closed over the great statesman at his public funeral in 
Westminster Abbey. 


LORD ROSEBERY'S MINISTRY (March 3, 1894, to June 24, 1893). 

First Lord of the Treasury, } 

President of the Council, 5 

Chancellor of the Exchequer, 

Lord Chancellor, 

Secretary for India, . 

Home Secretary, .... 

Foreign Secretary, 

Colonial Secretary, 

War Secretary, .... 

First Lord of the Admiralty, 

President of the Board of Trade, 

Postmaster-General, . 

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 

Lord Privy Seal, 

President of Local Government Boar 

Vice-President of the Council of Education, 

Lord Rosebery. 

Sir William Harcourt. 

Lord Herschell. 

Mr. H. H. Fowler. 

Mr. Asquith. 

Earl of Kimberley. 

Marquis of Ripon. 

Sir H. Campbell-Bannerman. 

Earl Spencer. 

Mr. James Bryce. 

Mr. Arnold Morley. 

Lord Tweedmouth. 

Mr. G. Shaw-Lefevre. 
Mr. Arthur Acland. 

Lord Lieutenant Lord Houghton.* 

Chief Secretary, . Mr. John Morley. 

Lord Chancellor, Mr. Samuel Walker.* 


Chief Secretary, 

Sir George Trevelyan. 

Not in the Cabinet. 

ON the 3d of March the long-expected resignation of Mr. Gladstone 
took place, and Lord Kosebery was offered and accepted the 
position of Prime Minister. He undertook to carry on the Government 
iiord Rosebery on the same lines as his predecessor. The conduct of 
fte^M^rch's, affairs had indeed led to a situation which somewhat 
1894. suited Lord Kosebery's views. A Home Ruler and 

consistent supporter of Mr. Gladstone, he had none of the enthusiasm 
for Irish self-government which had induced Mr. Gladstone to make 
it almost the sole object of his political aspirations. He had no 
wish that it should, as it had hitherto done, entirely overshadow 
the many reforms required in other parts of the empire ; he had 
no objection to allow the question to remain for the present in 
suspense. His view of Irish self-government was complicated with 
a large though scarcely formulated conception of a great federated 
empire. On the other hand, he earnestly desired the completion of 

1894] NEW PARTY LINES 181 

many of the objects at which the Liberal party aimed, and his 
practical character revolted at the condition of impotency to which 
Liberal legislation appeared to be reduced by the action of the House 
of Lords, He was ready therefore at once not only to take upon 
himself the duty of leading the Liberal advance along its old lines, 
but also to throw all his energies into that struggle with the Upper 
House which Mr. Gladstone had indicated as the necessary pre- 
liminary to any successful Liberal work. 

If the restoration of old party lines was desirable, it was unfortunate 
that the maintenance of Home Rule as a very prominent item in the 
Liberal programme was a matter of necessity; party pledges and 
the distribution of parties in Parliament put an insurmountable 
obstacle in the way of dropping it. It may indeed be questioned 
whether the Unionists (who, but for Home Rule, might to all appear- 
ance have returned to the Liberal fold) had not already gone too far 
in their alliance with their Conservative friends to allow of their 
return. They had deeply modified the policy of the Conservative 
party. Mr. Chamberlain was already shaking off his earlier domocratic 
impulses, and the line of cleavage was fast being drawn __ ...... 

f » ° & No possibility 

between radical and moderate Liberal, rather than ofXaoerai 
between Liberal and Conservative. At all events, no reumon - 
sign of the reconstitution of a united Liberal party was seen. Even 
in the Ministerial majority a want of unanimity began to show itself, 
threatening further disruption. The Government were defeated on 
the Address by their own followers. An amendment moved by Mr. 
Labouchere to the effect that the House of Lords should be deprived 
of its power of veto was carried against the Government, which had 
to submit to the somewhat humiliating necessity of withdrawing the 
Address and substituting a new one. The incident was of course 
without result, but indicated the temper of the extreme Ministerialists 
sufficiently to explain the impossibility of any reunion of parties. The 
Ministerial majority in fact was too small for the purposes of a 
strong Government. Scarcely any of their measures could be brought 
to completion. 

A Bill for the disestablishment of the Welsh Church was dropped 
after the first reading ; a Registration Bill, directed to various Bins 
cure what was allowed to be a scandalous condition of introduced, 
things, and aimed chiefly against the abuse of plural voting, was 
stigmatised as a mere party measure in preparation for the coming 
election, and did not get beyond its second reading ; the Evicted 
Tenants Bill, for the purpose of re-establishing in their farms in 


Ireland those who in the late land-war had been driven from them, 
was indeed carried in the Lower House by the use of the most 
stringent form of closure, but was at once rejected by the Lords 
(August 4, 1894). 

It was only on financial questions that the Government was able to 
The Budget, S am a distinct success. Sir W. Harcourt's Budget 
April 1894. secured them this victory. The difficulties of the 

Chancellor of the Exchequer had been increased by the large ex- 
penditure required for the navy. The sense of national insecurity, 
and the necessity for maintaining an irresistible naval force, which 
had given rise to the Naval Defence Act of March 1889, had not 
diminished. The stipulations of that Act had been carried out, and 
the Government had undertaken great and costly works in the im- 
provement of harbours and in the establishment of naval barracks, and 
had begun building a large naval dock at Gibraltar. The programme 
laid down by the Defence Act had been completed. But foreign 
countries had meanwhile added to their navies ; and, on the principle 
that the fleet of Great Britain should be a match for any two foreign 
fleets combined, Lord Spencer now thought it necessary to set on foot 
another great scheme of naval increase, to be completed as before in 
five years. The naval estimates, which had been prepared in February, 
showed an increase of £3,000,000 upon those of the year 1893-1894; 
and Mr. Gladstone just before his resignation had found himself unable 
to approve of a policy so wholly repugnant to the peaceful and 
economical traditions of his life. He would say, as we are told by 
Mr. Morley, " My name stands in Europe as a symbol of the policy of 
peace, moderation, and non-aggression. What would be said of my 
active participation in a policy that will be taken as plunging England 
into the whirlpool of militarism ? For more than sixty-two years I 
have uniformly opposed militarism." Mr. Gladstone's retirement and 
the substitution of Lord Rosebery, whose views of imperial duty were 
somewhat different, allowed the production of the enlarged estimates. 
This great increase of expenditure, on the army and navy, on educa- 
tion, and on grants to assist local taxation, had raised the demands 
upon the revenue of the coming year to over £100,000,000. Sir 
William Harcourt estimated the deficit at four and a half millions. 
He did not propose to obtain this sum by borrowing, but by a rectifica- 
tion of what are known as the Death Duties. A duty was first to be 
laid upon the value of all property, whether real or personal, settled 
or unsettled, upon the fundamental principle that upon death the 
State should take a share of all money passing to a new owner. But 


in the imposition of this tax the Chancellor of the Exchequer intro- 
duced the principle of graduation. The share to be claimed by the 
State was to vary from 1 per cent, upon estates of £500 to 8 per cent, 
upon estates of over £1,000,000. This general tax included and 
destroyed what had hitherto been known as the Probate and Account 
Duties. There remained a second tax hitherto known as the Legacy 
and Succession Duties. These were henceforward to fall equally upon 
real and personal property. In addition to the advantages likely to 
result from these great changes, he thought it necessary to add another 
penny to the income-tax for the coming year, and also a small additional 
duty upon spirits and upon beer. The Budget was 
very thoroughly discussed in Committee, and met with the Death 
great opposition. But in spite of the pressure of his u ies " 
own party, Sir W. Harcourt declined to make use of the closure, and 
by patience and firmness succeeded in carrying his propositions almost 
unaltered. The change introduced was far-reaching, and its success 
as a financial measure has been since abundantly proved, although at 
the time it excited strong feelings of anger among the wealthier classes. 
They found a spokesman in the Duke of Devonshire, who, with a want 
of dignity unexpected from a statesman of so high a character, com- 
plained bitterly of the blow inflicted upon his class by the Bill. Hence- 
forward it would be no longer possible, he urged, for men in his 
position to exhibit that easy liberality which was so advantageous to 
themselves and to the country. 

The rejection of the Evicted Tenants' Bill in the House of Lords 
was received by the nation with more equanimity- than „,, „ 

. , . . J . r , , * , . The Govera- 

suited the views of a Government who were determined mem pro- 
to rest their claim to popularity on their opposition to erramme - 
the Upper House. The autumn oratory, which had now become an 
habitual incident of party warfare, was chiefly directed to this question ; 
and it was understood that, when Parliament reassembled, the great 
effort of the Government would be to secure the passage of a hostile 
resolution against the House of Lords. Some surprise was felt that 
there was no hint of any such intention in the Queen's Speech (February 
5, 1895). Another Evicted Tenants' Bill, Welsh disestablishment, the 
p 'pular control of the liquor traffic, the abolition of plural voting, and 
a measure for completing the system of county government in Scotland, 
all found a place ; but of the House of Lords there was no mention. 
The Government were however right in this omission; the Crown 
could hardly recommend a resolution of one branch of the Legislature 
which injuriously affected the other. Tactically also, Lord Kosebery 


defended his action by explaining that a resolution carrying with it so 
great a constitutional change would of necessity produce an immediate 
dissolution ; and for this he was not as yet prepared, until he had 
made some further use of his majority. 

There was however quite sufficient ground in the Ministerial 
"Weakness of silence for a party attack ; and an Opposition amend- 
tne Ministry. ment intrusted to Mr. Chamberlain was moved to the 
Address, declaring that it was quite contrary to the public interest 
that the time of Parliament should be occupied in discussing measures 
which the Ministry was avowedly unable to pass, while a great con- 
stitutional question had been announced which required immediate 
settlement. The party situation was summed up in that amendment. 
The Opposition was desirous to secure a dissolution ; the Minis- 
terialists, at all events the tacticians among them, preferred to let the 
House of Lords still further discredit itself in the eyes of the electorate 
by refusing to pass Liberal measures, before calling on the country 
to decide upon the constitutional change which they had in view. 
The Ministerial majority, although small, was sufficient to enable 
them to pursue their own line. The measures promised in the Queen's 
Speech were accordingly introduced. Against an opposition falling 
just short of obstruction they were slowly pushed on. No Bill of 
importance however was destined to arrive at maturity. Although 
there were occasions, such as the second reading of the Welsh Dis- 
establishment Bill, on which the Ministers found themselves in 
possession of a fair majority, the numbers on which they could rely 
were so small that their tenure of power was constantly uncertain. 

On the question of the election of a new Speaker, when a vote was 
taken on strict party lines, they secured the election 
election of the of their candidate by no more than 11 votes. In 
speaker. April Mr. Peel was compelled by ill-health to resign 

the position he had long held with great dignity and success. All 
attempts at producing, as is usually thought desirable, a unanimous 
election to the vacant post proved in vain ; and finally a vote was 
taken between Sir Matthew Kidley, nominated by the Opposition, and 
Mr. Gully, a comparatively unknown man, who was put forward by the 
Government. Time has amply vindicated the wisdom of the Govern- 
ment choice. 

It was very generally believed, though no certainty in the matter 
"Filling: the could be arrived at, that the Government, in con- 
cup '" tinuing to press forward their programme, and in avoid- 

ing a dissolution which seemed the natural method of strengthening 

1895] THE "CORDITE VOTE" 185 

their position, were acting with the express object of passing 
measures in the Commons which the House of Lords would be certain 
to reject; or, in the cant language of the time, were attempting to 
" fill up the cup," in order that they might be able to appeal to the 
country with a still stronger cry against the obstruction of the Upper 
House. There is at least no doubt that the Prime Minister definitely 
put forward a reform in that House, and a change in its relation to 
the Lower House, as the first future object of the Liberal party. 
Party tactics of this sort are neither dignified nor safe. An accident 
may easily change a small majority into a minority ; and so it now 
fell out. On the discussion of the expenses of the War Office, Mr. 
Brodrick moved a slight diminution, on the ground that the supply 
of cordite was insufficient. Mr. Campbell-Bannerman Resignation of 
replied that the experts whom he had consulted had the Mini stry. 
expressed themselves satisfied. He unfortunately compromised his 
position by naming the exact amount in store. By so doing he 
rendered his appeal to expert authority nugatory ; the House could 
now judge for itself, and, somewhat to the astonishment of both 
parties, the Government upon a division appeared in the minority, 
125 against 132. The House at once adjourned, and on the following 
day, the 22d of June, it was known that the Government had resigned, 
and that Lord Salisbury had been called upon to form a Ministry. 
Thus upon a small side issue the Conservative Government were 
returned to power ; and during the remainder of the reign were able 
to continue in office, supported in part by the natural reaction which 
followed the long course of Liberal advance, in part by the political 
blindness which invariably attends a state of war. 

The Parliament was dissolved on the 8th of July. The general 
election which ensued consummated the rout of the Q ene rai 
Liberal party. It was in vain that Lord Rosebery, election, 
following in the lines of Mr. Gladstone's last speech, attempted to 
rally his followers to a great attack upon the House of Lords. The 
party was out of hand; its vast and diffuse programme militated 
against concentrated effort; no enthusiasm was evoked by the attitude 
of the leader ; the dominating personality of Mr. Gladstone was no 
longer there to unite jarring opinions. The result was a crushing 
defeat. The Unionist Ministry could command a majority of 152 in 
the new Parliament. In no Parliament since that which immediately 
followed the great Reform Bill had either party been in a position of 
such complete predominance. 




Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
Lord Chancellor, . 
First Lord of the Treasury, 
President of the Council, 
Lord Privy Seal, . 

Secretary for India, 
Nome Secretary, . 

Colonial Secretary, 
War Secretary, 

Foreign Secretary, 

First Lord of the Admiralty, 

President of the Board of Trade, 


Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 

President of Local Government Boa 

President of Board of Agriculture, 

First Commissioner of Works, 
President of Educational Council, 

Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, 
Chief Secretary for Ireland, 

>» »> >i • 

Lord Chancellor for Ireland, 
Secretary for Scotland, 

Lord Salisbury. 

Sir M. Hicks-Beach. 

Lord Halsbury. 

Mr. A. Balfour. 

Duke of Devonshire. 

Lord Cross. 

Lord Salisbury (Nov. 1900). 

Lord George Hamilton. 

Sir Matthew Ridley. 

Mr. Ritchie (Nov. 1900). 

Mr. Chamberlain. 

Lord Lansdowne. 

Mr. Brodrick (Nov. 1900). 

Lord Salisbury. 

Lord Lansdowne (Nov. 1900). 

Mr. Goschen. 

Lord Selborne (Nov. 1900). 

Mr. Ritchie. 

Mr. G. Balfour (Nov. 1900). 

Duke of Norfolk.* 

Lord James. 

Mr. Chaplin. 

Mr. Long (Nov. 1900). 

Mr. Long. 

Mr. Hanbury (Nov. 1900). 

Mr. Akers Douglas. 

Sir John Gorat.* 

Earl of Cadogan. 

Mr. Gerald Balfour.* 

Mr. Wyndhani (Nov. 1900).* 

Lord Ashbourne. 

Lord Balfour of Burleigh. 

Not in the Cabinet. 

THE withdrawal of Mr. Gladstone from the political arena, and the 
rapid disappearance of the Liberal Ministry of which he had 
been the head, produced a complete change in the centre of political 
The new interest. It was no longer the Irish question on which 

Ministry. party warfare hinged. Though it no doubt continued 

to occupy a place of great prominence, serving as a permanent obstacle 
to any reunion of the Liberal party, yet, as far as the nation was 
concerned, it now gave place to questions of more domestic interest, 
and before all to the question of imperial unity. 


1896] MR. CHAMBERLAIN 187 

The imperial idea was the monopoly of neither party. The late 
Prime Minister had long preached it, though it had _-_... 

\ 1 Mr - Chamber- 

appeared to him scarcely within the realm of practical lain Colonial 

politics; Among the Conservatives into whose hands Secretar y- 
the Government had now so triumphantly passed, it found an eager 
supporter in Mr. Chamberlain, a man in intellectual power perhaps not 
superior to Lord Bosebery, but of a more practical and self-confident 
disposition, and of unrivalled tenacity in pursuing to success whatever 
objects he set before him. Few men have excited more political 
animosity. His bitter speech, his apparent tergiversations, the out- 
spoken character of his utterances, and the little respect which he 
showed for the ordinary conventions of political life, afforded constant 
openings for attack. But an unbiassed consideration of his whole 
chequered career leads to the conclusion that there was a certain 
breadth of view, an aim wider and higher than the detail he was for 
the moment handling, always present with him at every stage of his 
life. Whether engaged in municipal work at Birmingham, or support- 
ing the views of the Democratic Radical, or turning upon his old 
friends and withstanding with all his might what he regarded as a 
step towards the dissolution of the empire, it was always the great 
idea of well-governed yet self-governed units within an unbroken and 
powerful unity which filled his mind. To all appearance a practical, 
sharp, even over sharp, man of business, he was at heart an idealist. 
His position as Colonial Secretary gave him opportunities he was not 
slow to embrace. The establishment of the Australian Commonwealth, 
and the South African War, with its attendant incidents, afford striking 
instances of the successful realisation of his idea. As Colonial Minister, 
he shared with Lord Salisbury (who retained the Foreign Office in his 
hands) the direction of the external policy of England, which, from the 
first moment of the accession to office of the new Ministry, began to 
absorb the public attention. 

In fact, Mr. Chamberlain had hardly taken possession of his office 
before his treatment of a difficulty which arose in West Ashantiwar, 
Africa gave proof of the masterful temper in which he 189e - 
was likely to carry out his duties. Prempey, King of Ashanti, had 
fallen out with the British authorities on the Gold Coast Settlement. 
His slave trading, his human sacrifices, his refusal to complete the 
payment of the indemnity required after the expedition of 1874, and 
his vexatious interferences with trade, had called for remonstrance, and 
the remonstrance had been disregarded and defied. Without hesita- 
tion Mr. Chamberlain sent a peremptory ultimatum demanding the 


establishment of a British protectorate. When the time given for reply 
elapsed and no answer had been received, he at once ordered troops 
into the country. On January 17, 1896, Kumasi, Prempey's capital, 
was occupied without resistance. There was no longer any talk of a 
Protectorate; the annexation of Ashanti was at once declared. A 
garrison was left, and the expedition returned triumphantly to the 
coast. The little war was not without valuable results. In the 
subsequent disputes, turning as they did upon questions connected 
with the " hinterland " of this part of Africa, the occup ation of Kumasi 
was of considerable value. 

The contrast between the methods of the Colonial Minister and 
Thesiam &. those of Lord Salisbury at the Foreign Office was 
difficulty. accentuated by the settlement of a difficulty which 

had arisen with France in Siam. The attempt to form a "buffer 
State," as it was called, between the possessions of France and 
England in the Siam peninsula had produced constant friction. With 
his usual clear perception of the real bearings of the question, Lord 
Salisbury risked the imputation of neglecting British interests, and made 
considerable concessions of territory to France, receiving in exchange 
only a definite frontier and a joint undertaking to respect and uphold 
so much of Siam as was still left to the King (January 5, 1896). The 
compensation did not at first sight appear sufficient, and Lord Salisbury's 
policy met with a good deal of blame. But the definition of the 
frontier, and the security of Siam from disturbance by further 
encroachments, were probably well worth the price paid. 

The Ministry made its first Parliamentary appearance in the session 
character of of 1896. With a few internal changes, and interrupted 
the Ministry. on ]y ^y a general election in 1900, it lasted to the end 
of the reign. It is almost too soon to tell its history. The difficulties 
already indicated press more and more heavily on the historian. The 
relative importance of facts and the certainty of conclusions become 
constantly more questionable. Thus it is impossible to say with any 
certainty whether or not the Cabinet was guided by any distinct rule 
of policy in handling what may be spoken of as its administrative 
legislation. It would however appear that either by stress of 
circumstances or by the influence direct or indirect of certain strong 
members of the Cabinet, a striking similarity is to be found in every 
instance of such legislation. There is always the same anxiety to 
preserve the appearance of unity, but to admit within the limits of 
that unity the largest possible amount of decentralisation and local 
liberty. The same principle is found underlying the general treatment 


of the imperial question, and the relations of the colonies to the 
mother country ; and scarcely less obviously in the policy pursued by 

the Government with respect to Ireland, London, and the reorganisation 
of the national education. 

On confronting Parliament, the Ministers found themselves occupying 
a more difficult position than they had anticipated. Ministerial 
They had spread their nets widely at the general promises, 
election, and had not been sparing in promises to secure success. To 
more classes than one hopes had been held out. To the Church it 
had been suggested that assistance was procurable for the denomi- 
national schools. The agriculturalist might look for something to 
help him over the general depression of his business. The workman 
was to receive compensation for injuries. The Land Law of Ireland 
was to be improved. Still more attractive was the optimistic opinion 
with regard to foreign affairs, of which Mr. Curzon had made himself 
the mouthpiece. The advent of the Conservative Ministry was to 
change foreign hostility into friendship ; and international quarrels, 
the offspring of the deep-seated distrust felt by foreign Governments 
in the Liberal party, were to disappear before the confidence which 
would be inspired by the wisdom and skill of the new Ministry. The 
many promises had somehow or other, either wholly or in part, to be 
fulfilled if the Conservative majority was to be maintained. But the 
absolute and almost laughable contradiction of Mr. Curzon's prophecies 
by the actual facts seemed to leave but little opening for successful 
domestic legislation. The list of thorny international questions, which 
took up the larger part of the Queen's Speech, seemed enough of itself 
to occupy the whole attention of any Ministry. There were difficulties 
with France and Siam, Russia and Afghanistan, the United States and 
Venezuela, Turkey and the Armenians, disturbances in Chitral, the 
Ashanti War, and the Jameson Raid, with the accompanying com- 
plication caused by the sympathetic telegram sent to Mr. Kruger by 
the impulsive German Emperor. Yet before the Parliament came to 
an end in 1900 the Ministry had in some degree fulfilled most of their 
promises. It was however a work of time, and was only rendered 
possible by the lengthened existence which good fortune secured to 
them. An overflowing revenue and the unusual excitement of a 
popular war carried them triumphantly through their difficulties. 

During the first session everything seemed to be going wrong. The 

Education Bill had to be withdrawn, the Workmen's _ ., 

Failure of the 

Compensation Bill was not even proposed, the Irish Education Bin, 
Land Bill threatened to break up the party, the May 189e - 


Agricultural Rating Bill was so manifestly " a special dole to a class " 
that it met with a very grudging reception. The Education Bill, the 
great failure of the session, was introduced by Sir John Gorst just 
before Easter, postponed apparently to allow the Ministers time 
to make up their own minds upon it. Their unanimity in fact 
was limited to one point, they desired to give assistance to those 
schools which had hitherto depended chiefly on voluntary subscrip- 
tions. The compromise effected by Mr. Forster's Bill of 1870 
had not been palatable to the clergy. They had found them- 
selves, as they believed, engaged in an unfair competition with the 
Board schools which could draw upon the bottomless purse of the 
rates, while they themselves depended upon the uncertain liberality 
of subscribers. At all events, it appeared unquestionable that the 
voluntary schools were not equal in excellence to the rate-supported 
schools, and many of them were only just able to fulfil the minimum 
requirements of the Educational Department. Instead however of 
pursuing in some simple method the object they had in view, the 
Government listened to the voice of those who had wider interests 
in education, and took the opportunity of linking their simple object 
to a great system of educational reform. Whether their plan was 
good or not, there can be no question that it was produced pre- 
maturely and without sufficiently securing the support of those chiefly 
interested in so highly contentious a measure. On moving the second 
reading, Sir John Gorst explained that the objects of the Bill were 
four : the raising of the poorer schools, whether they were voluntary 
or Board, to a level with their richer neighbours ; the replacement of 
Church schools in rural districts where School Boards had been 
tried and failed ; the establishment of a common authority for both 
primary and secondary schools, so .that the two systems might be 
co-ordinated ; and decentralisation of the existing system, so that 
the Educational Department might be relieved and greater elasticity 
be secured. The means by which these objects were to be secured 
was the establishment in every county, or county borough, of a 
general educational authoritj^. This w 7 as to be the County Council 
acting through a committee created by itself, and in accordance 
with its views, and consisting of a majority of county councillors, 
the other members being either experts or representatives of edu- 
cational bodies. The administration of the imperial grant was to 
be placed in its hands, and also the money received under the 
Local Taxation Act, commonly known as the spirit money. It 
was also to have the charge of technical instruction, industrial and 

1897] EDUCATION /JILL 191 

reformatory schools; and, with regard to secondary education, it 
might aid and establish new schools and take over the higher grade 
schools of the School Board. With respect to the grant, it was to 
be given in part as a special aid to necessitous Church schools, 
which were to receive from the Exchequer 4s. for every child in 
regular attendance. The limit of 17s. 6d. per child hitherto set to 
the grant from all sources was removed ; and all elementary schools 
were exempted from the payment of rates. The age of school attend- 
ance was to be raised to 12 years. Finally, what Sir John Gorst 
described as a supplement to the conscience clause was introduced. 
If a reasonable number of parents required to have separate religious 
instruction given to their children, it was to be the duty of the 
managers to make arrangements for such instruction. In most 
respects the Bill was closely similar to the one which was subsequently 
(1903) passed. But it was so full of matters on which opinion might 
differ, it was so complete a revolution of the whole existing system, 
the security which it offered for the additional assistance of voluntary 
schools seemed so uncertain, the importation of sectarian religious 
teaching was so objectionable to many minds, that, even granting the 
acceptance of the fundamental principles, there still remained an 
infinite field of discussion. Nothing but the clearest comprehension 
and approval of the details, and a determined and whole-hearted 
support of them in Committee, could have carried the Bill successfully 
through the House. This comprehension and determination were 
notably wanting. The Government and its majority were by no 
means completely agreed ; a hopeless confusion consequently arose, 
and the Government found it necessary to withdraw the Bill in a 
somewhat humiliating manner. 

At all events they learnt wisdom by experience, and in the following 
session (January 19, 1897) they introduced a much 
Bimpler Bill, known as the Voluntary Schools Act. schools Act, 
All schools were relieved from local rates, the 17s. 6d. 
limit was abolished, and an aggregate grant of 5s. per child was given 
to the voluntary schools. The distribution of this grant was left in the 
hands of the Educational Department, which was still to insist on the 
maintenance of voluntary subscriptions. The Bill very naturally 
created a bitter feeling, among Nonconformists who saw public money 
given to the support of Church schools, and among those constitu- 
tionalists who considered public control necessary where public money 
was concerned. However, by a somewhat profuse use of the closure, 
the Bill was forced through the House (March 25, 1897). The only 


success on the part of the Opposition was the provision of a corre- 
sponding relief to necessitous Board Schools, which was secured by a 
separate Bill, 

But although the Government had thus obtained the one point on 
, _ . which they were really bent, and had abandoned for 

General desire J J ' 

to improve the time the attempt at general legislation, the futile 

education. Bm of 1896 had not been w i t h out i ta i mpor t a nce. It 

was, though incomplete and unsuccessful, the expression of a feeling 
profoundly felt that the whole educational system required reorganisa- 
tion. More elasticity in its lower branches, a greater opportunity for 
fitly supplying the very varying wants of different classes and different 
localities, a clearer definition of primary and secondary education, and 
the bringing of both into one co-ordinated system, were objects which 
not only educational experts, but all who were interested in the 
intellectual well-being of the people, were beginning to recognise as 
essential. It was felt that England was falling behind in intellectual 
progress, and in that scientific equipment on which pre-eminence in the 
keen competition of the world must ultimately rest. There might 
be many ways of obtaining the required results, and the contests of 
systems might be severe. But the Government was henceforward 
compelled to undertake the responsibility of deciding upon the most 
desirable plan, and of producing a measure which should satisfy the 
public demand. The plan was not produced until a new reign had 
begun ; but tentative steps were taken, the direction of the proposed 
reform was clearly indicated, and the ground prepared for the final 

Thus in 1899 a Bill establishing a Board of Education was passed. 
It created a Board consisting of a President, and the 
Education Act, Lord President of the Council, the principal Secretaries 
1899 - of State, the First Lord of the Treasury, and the 

Chancellor of the Exchequer. To this Board was handed over the 
work hitherto done by the Educational Department and the Depart- 
ment of Science and Art. A consultative committee was called into 
existence to advise the Board and to arrange for a register of teachers. 
The Board was authorised to inspect secondary schools in England. 
By this measure a long step was taken towards bringing primary 
and secondary education, including its technical branch, under one 
central power. The intermediate apparatus, the local authority, had 
still to be supplied. Another step in the right direction was taken 
when a Bill, brought in not by Government but by Mr. Robson a 
private member, raised the age from eleven to twelve as the earliest 


at which a child could leave school. In country districts the authority 
was allowed to fix even a higher age, with the proviso that between 
the age of eleven and thirteen only a limited number of attendances 
should be required. 

It had been understood that the Government was pledged to 
introduce various improvements of a social character. . . „ 

. Agricultural 

The condition of the agricultural labourers had formed Rating Bin, 
one of the topics of the Queen's Speech in 1896, and 1896 ' 
promises of relief had been held out. Nearly £1,000,000 was devoted 
to the purpose. It was distributed in the form of a grant in aid 
of the rates. Land was to be assessed not upon its whole rateable 
value. There was really no reason to believe that the agricultural 
classes alone suffered from injustice of rating. The proposal of the 
Government was in fact as the Opposition declared it to be, " a dole 
to the landed interest." It was after all a very small relief, not 
more than a shilling an acre; it was entirely indiscriminate, to the 
advantage of the rich farmer as well as to the needy. As Lord 
Rosebery insisted, it was the rent rather than the rates which should 
have been diminished ; but such an argument in the House of Lords 
was not likely to carry weight. The Government pushed the Bill 
through, limiting its operation to five years, and followed it up with 
a commission of inquiry on local taxation, which should to all appear- 
ance more properly have preceded it. The gift to the Church schools 
had been severely censured as an instance of class legislation. It is 
difficult to regard the Agricultural Rating Act of 189G in any other light. 
Several small measures for the amelioration of the working-classes 
were also passed ; such as the Bill facilitating the purchase by the 
occupier of houses under the value of £400, and the Bill allowing 
municipal authorities to establish lodging-houses for the poor outside 
their boundaries, a tentative measure for relieving the ever-increasing 
pressure upon the centre of towns, but no large plan of improvement 
was set on foot. 

The only important legislation of a social character w T as the Work- 
men's Compensation Bill. The mismanagement of the Workm , 
first session did not allow of its introduction; but in compensation 

"Ri 11 1 QQ7 

1897 a Bill was brought in and passed. It was some- 
what limited in extent, although fairly complete within those limits. 
Agricultural labourers, seamen, domestic servants, and workshops 
carried on without machinery were excluded from its action. In 
cases to which it applied, if accident caused a workman's death, 
his representatives could claim three years' wages, or £150, whichever 



was the larger, up to £300. In case of incapacity caused by acci- 
dent, the workman was to obtain half his wages if less than £1 
weekly. The exclusion of so many classes roused much opposition, 
and eventually, in 1900, the Government so far altered their plan as to 
admit agricultural labourers. But the point in the Bill which was 
perhaps most warmly contested was the right given to the workman 
to make an arrangement with his employer by which he was excluded 
from the advantages of the Act. The great companies had schemes 
of their own for compensation which they believed fostered thrift and 
good feeling between employer and employed. The work of the great 
Friendly Societies had proved most valuable; and the Government, 
pledged by its very character to preserve rather than to reform, thought 
it undesirable to interfere in any way with such useful agencies. The 
right of " contracting out " formed therefore a part of the Bill, subject 
to the condition that the Friendly Society or scheme to which the 
workman so contracting out belonged must be certified by the Registrar 
of the Friendly Societies, as offering terms not less favourable than 
those secured by the Act. The Opposition on the other hand had on 
previous occasions refused to allow this freedom to the workmen, in 
the belief that any scheme of compensation unless universally obligatory 
would be inoperative in the hands of unscrupulous employers. In spite 
however of strong opposition, and of a wealth of friendly amendments 
which threatened to stifle it, the Bill passed through Committee with 
its chief principles unaltered, and became law. 

The anomalous character of the government of London was another 
. B point which called for immediate attention. In creating 

Government of r - ... & 

London Bill, the County Council and concentrating in its hands the 
administrative powers exercised by the various Boards 
in the Metropolis, true to their Conservative instincts the Ministry of 
1888 had excluded the City from its jurisdiction. There were thus two 
distinct centres of authority, the old Corporation and the new County 
Council. This state of things was regarded as so undesirable that a 
strong feeling in favour of a junction of the two powers was prevalent, 
in spite of the obstacles to amalgamation presented by the antiquity 
and importance of the Corporation. On the other hand, it can 
scarcely be questioned that the County Council was becoming more 
powerful than the Government liked. Its majority was constantly 
Progressive, and the somewhat curious phenomenon was seen of 
an area returning a considerable majority of Unionist members to 
Parliament, yet represented in its local Council by men whose action 
exhibited strong democratic tendencies. To increase still further 


the power of the County Council by amalgamating it with the 
City did not fall in with the Ministerial views; and the London 
Government Bill, one of the most important measures of the session 
of 1800, was conceived in that spirit of decentralisation which had 
already been shown elsewhere. The City of London remained intact 
with all its powers and privileges; the vast area over which the 
County Council exercised authority was broken up into municipalities 
or boroughs. Of these, sixteen were created at once, and arrangements 
made for the admission of others if demanded by circumstances. It 
seems difiicult to regard it as a Bill for securing the unity of the 
government of London ; for except in the last resort, the municipalities 
enjoyed almost complete independence. They had their mayor, their 
aldermen and councillors ; no representatives of the central authority 
sat in their Council; they were at liberty to promote or oppose Bills 
in Parliament. Many alterations were admitted during the Committee 
stage ; and on the question of the admission of women to the Councils 
there was much warm debate. The amendments on this point passed 
in the Commons were negatived in the Lords. To save the Bill, Mr. 
Balfour advised the acceptance of the Lords' amendments, and women 
were entirely excluded from the new machinery. 

It was a period of ever-increasing revenue met by ever-increasing 
expenditure. The figures of the Budget had assumed a Prosperous 
somewhat alarming appearance, when they rose to more finances, 
than £100,000,000. The surplus however year by year seemed to 
justify the expenditure. Thus in 180G the surplus amounted to 
£4,210,000; in 1807 to £1,6G0 ; 000; in 1808 to £3,678,000; and in 
1800 the result would have been equally satisfactory had it not 
been for the outbreak of the South African war. The wealth in the 
hands of Government enabled them to carry further that part of their 
policy which consisted in largely increasing the naval and military 
forces. It was not a policy belonging to any single party, at least as 
far as the navy was concerned. 

Ever since the Naval Defence Act of 1889 it had been generally 
accepted that no reasonable expense must be spared increase of the 
to supply adequately the chief defensive power of the Navy- 
country. Since the production by Lord Spencer in 1804 of his 
shipbuilding programme, rapid progress had been made. It was now 
proposed by Mr. Goschen to add to the 105 ships and G2 torpedo 
boats already built 5 more battleships, 4 first-class, 3 second-class, and 
third-class cruisers, and 28 topedo boats. The cost would be about 
£10,000,000, spread over three years. At the same time the navy 


estimates were increased by £3,000,000, and reached the figure of 
£21,800,000. Besides this, by the Naval Works Bill the £8,500,000 
which had been devoted to harbour defence in the preceding year was 
increased to £14,000,000. Great though the expenditure was, the 
proposition was well received both in the House and in the country. 
No new taxation was necessary, and the nation regarded with com- 
placency the expenditure of no less than £55,000,000 upon its favourite 
force since Lord Spencer had put out his programme. 

Although it may be said to have become a received opinion that 
„ . the position of Great Britain among the nations of the 

Reorg-amsa- r , ° 

tion of the War wo rid was to depend on its naval preponderance, 
the reorganisation and improvement of the army was 
not neglected. Though there could be no attempt to rival the great 
military powers of Europe, the extension of the empire gave constant 
employment to the army, and it was at all events desirable that, even 
though small, the army should be complete. Immediately on their 
accession to office the Government had taken advantage of the resigna- 
tion of the Duke of Cambridge to introduce considerable changes 
in the War Office. Lord Wolseley was made Commander-in-Chief, 
with a military Board and consultative Council, the responsibility 
being centred in the Secretary for War. The limited power placed 
in the hands of the Commander-in-Chief, and the removal of much of 
his responsibility, subjected the plan to keen criticism. But the 
Government had their way. In their second session some £7,000,000 
were, by the Military Works Act, and the Military Manoeuvres Act, 
provided for the establishment of military ports and fortified harbours, 
and for the purchase of a large tract of country on Salisbury Plain to 
be set aside for manoeuvres. A slight addition was also made to the 
total estimates of the year, but it was very slight. The expenditure 
upon the military and naval forces and the reorganisation of the War 
Office represented the general feeling both of the Government and the 
nation as to the national requirements during a time of peace, in the 
profound belief that the present peaceful condition of the empire 
would remain undisturbed. The greatness of the empire was 
recognised, the demands upon its defensive power by the colonies 
were understood, and, as it was believed, answered by the naval 
preparations. For frontier wars, and acquisitions in barbarous 
countries, the army was considered large enough. 

The year 1899 produced a rude awakening. The special autumn 
Expenses of the session called to provide for the sudden outbreak of 
Boer war. the South African war saw the beginning of that 


enormous expenditure upon the army which has added £150,000,000 
to the National Debt. The beginning was small, for the fatal ignorance 
of the Government, their ridiculous misapprehension of the struggle in 
which they had engaged, had not as yet been proved. £10,000,000 
it was thought would be sufficient, which might be readily supplied 
by a temporary loan. The War Office was indeed quite proud of 
the comparative speed with which it despatched a single army corps 
to the support of the slender armaments it had as yet thought right 
to send. As far as the movement of that army corps went, they were 
perhaps justified. The troops were landed in Africa rapidly and 
without mishap, though not without some signs of mismanagement. 
But no sooner did the war really begin than the insufficiency both of 
the English armament and organisation became evident. The call 
upon the nation w T as cheerfully responded to, the Yeomanry and 
Volunteers were organised. The colonies showed a keen compre- 
hension of the imperial interests involved, and at once came forward 
with offers, and although at first they were told that infantry alone 
were wanted, in the course of a few months they were supplying 
some of the best of our mounted troops. The War Office had 
begun to sec its mistakes. The British artillery was outranged; 
the rapidly moving horsemen and marksmen of the enemy were 
rilling the prisons of Pretoria with English infantry. Then began 
an unchecked and lavish expenditure of money. Guns were bought 
even in Germany; horses, irrespective of their excellence, were 
swept in from all corners of the earth to be used and destroyed 
before they could become acclimatised. Soldiers unfit for service were 
hurried to the front. It seemed to be thought that mere numbers and 
unlimited money w T cre all that was required to establish British 
supremacy. Though the war ended successfully, the Government and 
the War Office can scarcely claim credit, unless it be for the spark 
of wisdom which induced them to choose Lord Roberts and Lord 
Kitchener to retrieve the disastrous beginning of the war. 

A part of the general imperial policy which the Government 
followed, and which seems to have been an attempt The imperial 
to form under the Crown a body of federated self- p° lic y- 
governing States, was the completion of federative arrangements among 
the various small States into which our colonies in their process of 
growth had formed themselves. With the Dominion of Canada as an 
example, the various Australian colonies were encouraged to come to 
a federative arrangement among themselves, and it was not obscurely 
indicated that a process of the same sort would be very desirable 


sooner or later in South Africa. In Australia the attempt was 
crowned with success. England had really very little to do with it, 
the Federation was the work of the colonial statesmen. It is plain 
that such an idea of empire is full of difficulties. It is impossible to 
suppose that great self-governing clusters of colonies, allowed and 
encouraged to form themselves into what have all the appearance 
of independent States, would admit of much active interference or 
supervision from the mother country. Reciprocal advantages in the 
connection are still to seek, and the great difficulty, as far as England 
is concerned, is to retain any link of union except the sentimental 
one afforded by the person of the monarch. And so it proved with 
respect to Australia. 

For a good many years attempts had been made by certain states- 
Efforts at men m Australia to bring about a federation of the 
federation. colonies, an idea which had been fostered by the 
Colonial Office at home. The mutual jealousies of the various colonies 
had made it a matter of considerable difficulty to bring them to any 
common ground of union. Still greater was the difficulty when the 
question of federation with the mother country and participation of 
some sort in the administration of the empire was introduced into 
the discussion. Until the outbreak of the Boer war gave occasion 
for a hearty and unexpected exhibition of imperial loyalty, the most 
striking indication of its existence was- found in the great Jubilee 
celebration of the sixtieth year of the Queen's reign in 1897. At the 
great festivals which accompanied it there had been collected re- 
presentatives from all parts of the empire. Independent princes and 
protected princes from India had crowded to do homage to their 
suzerain. Self-governing and Crown colonies had joined in demonstra- 
tions of respect for their Queen. Mr. Chamberlain took advantage of 
the opportunity, and succeeded in bringing together in London all the 
Prime Ministers of the Australian colonies. A series of conferences 
was held, in which the great questions which had to be solved were 
discussed, not only with a view to local federation, but in relation to 
some wider scheme of imperial unity. He carefully refrained from 
defining any such scheme. He indicated the possibility of a zollverein 
or common tariff for the whole empire, the possibility of some central 
representative council, and the probable necessity of some distribution 
of the great burdens of empire. But he appears to have given the 
colonial Ministers clearly to understand that the work was theirs and 
not his, that it lay with them to bring about their own federation and 
to smooth their own intercolonial difficulties, intimating at the same 


time that, when that was accomplished, the English Government 
would he ready to lend a sympathetic ear to any request for closer 
union. The Ministers returned without having advanced much 
further than before in their scheme of federation ; hut undoubtedly 
the conferences were not without effect. Before long Bills were 
passed in all the Australian Parliaments authorising federation ; and 
after much intricate negotiation and many conferences, a scheme was 
arrived at and accepted in Australia subject to its approval by the 
Colonial Office in England. 

The difficulty of finding a link with the mother country, which has 
already been mentioned, was at once apparent. In Foundation of 
constituting themselves into a great commonwealth, ^n^ori! alian 
the Australian colonies had no idea of allowing the wealth, 
practical independence they enjoyed to be overshadowed by the 
Home Government. The plan established a Federal Parliament, with a 
Senate formed by six senators from each State, and a House of Repre- 
sentatives elected in proportion to the population of the State. To the 
House of Representatives was left the power of the purse. The powers 
intrusted to the Federal Parliament were carefully defined. Free trade 
within the Commonwealth, common public services, uniform law, were 
definite parts of the scheme. The Constitution w r as completed and the 
junction with England secured by the appointment by the Queen of a 
Governor-General who was to be her representative ; and this, in the 
draft scheme which was approved in Australia by the use of the Re- 
ferendum, was in fact the only point of union. The right of appeal 
to the Queen in Council in any matter involving the interpretation of 
the constitution, or of the constitution of a State, unless the public 
interests of some part of her Majesty's dominion other than the 
Commonwealth or a single State were involved, was done away with. 
The connecting link therefore between the judicature of the colonies 
and the mother country was broken, and there seemed no security 
remaining for the uniformity of law within the empire. Upon this 
point there was a sharp struggle. Eventually a compromise was 
accepted, and the right of appeal to the Privy Council was allowed, if 
the cases brought to its cognizance were certified by the High Court 
of the Commonwealth as fitting subjects for its jurisdiction. With 
this alteration the Act was passed, and the Commonwealth was 
established by a proclamation issued by the Queen from Balmoral 
(September 17, 1900). 

After the intense excitement which had attended the Home Rule 
Bills, and the constant recurrence of the Irish difficulty in an 


aggravated form during the last twenty years, the small part it played 
Peace in m Lord Salisbury's last Ministry is somewhat sur- 

ireiand. prising. This is said to be partly due to the sympathetic 

management of Mr. Morley during his tenure of office ; but its con- 
tinuance may more probably be traced to good seasons and commercial 
prosperity, to the overwhelming majority of the Unionists which de- 
prived the Irish party in Parliament of much of its political importance, 
to the quarrels which broke up that party after the death of Mr. 
Parnell, and to a certain measure of success which attended the efforts 
of Government to secure the well-being of the people. It is remark- 
able that there had been for some years an unbroken growth in the 
deposits in the Irish savings banks. They had steadily increased from 
£4,710,000 in 1886 to £7,678,000 by the end of 1895. Two good 
harvests had also tended to the lessening of political discontent. The 
Unionist Ministry had therefore a fair field on which to try their new 
policy. They were moreover compelled, in this as in other respects, 
to make large concessions to the Liberal section whose adherence had 
secured their majority. Not only were measures taken which touched 
in various directions the comfort and wealth of the Irish, but legislation 
on Liberal lines, and indeed closely resembling that of their pre- 
decessors, though with certain modifications, was introduced. 

The Land Law Bill which was passed in 1896 followed in many 
Land Bill of respects very exactly the Bill Mr. Morley had failed to 
1896 - pass in the preceding year. Its avowed object was to 

amend the legislation of 1881, and it consisted largely of alterations 
of a technical character in the procedure of the Land Commission in 
fixing rent. Mr. Morley had produced his measure because the first 
term of fifteen years was drawing to a close, and it had become 
necessary to fix the rents for another term of years ; and before this 
was done he was desirous that the position of the tenant, more especially 
with respect to his interest in his own improvements, should be 
secured. The object of Mr. Gerald Balfour's Bill was practically 
the same as that of Mr. Morley. Several of the proposals in the 
previous Bill were accepted as non-contentious. On the other hand, 
there were others which were considerably modified. Thus the 
shortening of the statutory term during which the rent was to 
remain fixed was disallowed, and more restriction was placed upon 
the definition of "improvements." Further provisions for the extension 
and improvement of the Land Purchase Act of 1891 was also in- 
cluded. The object of that Act had been to increase the advances 
made by the imperial Government to aid the creation of a peasant 

1896] IRISH LAND BILL 201 

proprietorship. But while adding to the sum which could be advanced, 

the Conservative Government of the time appears to have been afraid 
of its too rapid employment; and the simplicity of the Ashbourne Act 
had been destroyed by complicated enactments. The effect had been 
to check more than was at all desirable the process which they re- 
garded as the chief remedy for Irish discomfort. By the Ashbourne 
Act the tenant repaid the advance by an unvarying instalment at 
4 per cent, for forty-nine years. By the Act of 1891 he repaid it in 
the same time, but by varying and uncertain instalments depending upon 
various highly technical arrangements. By the present Act the tenant 
was to pay for ten years a maximum instalment at the rate of 4 per 
cent. ; part of this was interest, part was replacing of capital. At the 
end of ten years so much of the capital as had been replaced was to 
be deducted from the sum on which interest was paid. The whole 
inftalment w r ould therefore decrease ; for while the replacement con- 
tinued the same, the interest became less. It was calculated that by 
this arrangement about sixty-nine years would be required before the 
instalments would cease. Though the length of time over which the 
repayment was spread was likely to act as a deterrent to purchase, 
the certain maximum and the steady decrease were distinct ad- 
vantages. It was not however upon the purchase clauses that any 
difficulty arose. Although considerably modified as compared with 
those of the 1805 Bill, the clauses in favour of the tenant appeared to 
the landlords still to be serious encroachments on their already 
diminished rights; and not unnaturally they were deeply disappointed 
at what they considered the ill-treatment meted out to them by their 
own friends. Mr. Balfour could not shut his eyes to their threatened 
opposition, or to the obvious danger that they might find opportunity 
in the House of Lords of wrecking the Bill altogether. He therefore 
inserted several amendments in their favour while the Bill was in 
Committee. The effect of these changes upon the Irish Nationalists 
was immediate. The split among them was for the moment healed in 
;i general and eager opposition to the Bill. It became only too clear 
that a Bill which had been intended as a message of peace would have 
to be forced through the House in the teeth of a united Irish party. 
This would have been so entirely opposed to the avowed policy of the 
Government of ''killing Home Rule by kindness," that a fresh change 
of face was made ; the new amendments were withdrawn, and the 
landlords, left in the lurch, could again complain that the provisions 
with respect to tenants 1 improvements " reduced their land to prairie 
value. 1 ' Joining their forces with the Nationalists, they succeeded in 


putting the Government in a minority on one point of no great 
importance. Their success was but momentary; the Government 
majority was too strong to be resisted even when weakened by this 
defection, and the Land Bill got through the Commons (July 29). 

In the Upper House the landlords found more room for opposition. 
Led by Lord Londonderry, they contrived to defeat the Government 
on more than one clause, though still declaring that they had no 
intention of destroying the Bill. Amendments were introduced, to 
which the Commons, when the Bill came back to them, refused to 
agree. The rebel Lords however had no wish to drive measures to 
extremity. They withdrew their opposition, contented themselves 
with expressing their strong dislike to the Bill, and allowed it to pass, 
on the last day of the session, August 13, 1896. 

More important, and still more characteristic of the policy of Govern- 

ment, was the legislation of 1898 and 1899. Immedi- 
Government ately after the Address in 1898, Mr. Gerald Balfour 

introduced what was to be the great measure of the 
session, the extension of Local Government to Ireland. As in England, 
County Councils and District Councils and Boards of Guardians were 
to be established, but not Parish Councils. The members were to 
be elected on a broad franchise identical with the Parliamentary fran- 
chise, except that Peers and women might vote. The County Councils 
were to take over the duties hitherto performed by the grand juries, 
except in the matter of criminal law. The District Councils were 
charged with the work hitherto done by the authorities of the baronies. 
In respect to finance, the principle of the Agricultural Rating Act was 
applied to Ireland, and £730,000 a year was to be paid to it out of the 
imperial exchequer. The occupier was to be relieved of the payment 
of half the county cess, the owner to be relieved of half the poor rate. 
In addition to this, £200,000 a year, the products of the local licence 
duties, and an additional grant of £79,000 were to be given. The 
result was expected to be that the new authorities would have a 
surplus of £35,000 after meeting the charges to which they were 

The Bill, which was passed without much opposition, had much the 
appearance of a substitute for Home Rule. This Mr. Balfour declared 
that it was not. It was introduced, he said, merely as a matter of 
administrative convenience. However this may be, it undoubtedly 
put more power in the hands of the Irish and of the Nationalist party. 
A very small percentage of the old members of the grand jury found 
seats on the new Councils, which were for the most part constituted 


of men inexperienced in administrative business. It can afford no 
cause for surprise that here and there unwise excesses of part)' feeling 
were seen, in nothing perhaps more notably than in the violent reso- 
lutions passed in not a few of the newly established Councils in favour 
of the Boers during the Soutn African War. It is more to be won- 
dered at that in a large majority of cases the Councils success of the 
set to work with an apparent determination to execute BilL 
their new duties with thoroughness, and on the whole succeeded in 
so doing. The smoothness with which the new arrangements worked 
and the general satisfaction which they gave speak highly for Mr. 
Gerald Balfour's skill. 

Words had been dropped in the debate which led to an uneasy 
feeling that the Local Government Act was intended to be an 
alternative for other measures of a curative description which had 
been suggested. This did not prove to be the case. In the following 
year a new Department of Agriculture, Industries, and Technical 
Instruction was created for Ireland. The object was to develop 
the resources of the country and to teach the people how to use 
them. The first Vice-President was Mr. Horace Plunkett. This 
appointment was an official recognition of the excellent work he had 
for some time been carrying on. At his persuasion . 
an Irish Agricultural Organisation Society had been cultural 
formed, and had pressed upon the people with great De P artment - 
success the principles of industrial co-operation. The work had 
begun in 1897, and had spread with extraordinary rapidity — 87 
Agricultural Societies, with a membership of 9000, and 155 Dairy 
Societies, with a membership of 20,000, were under its control by 
December, 1898. The output of butter between April 1897 and 
December 1898 was 4000 tons, valued at £353,850. As a part of 
the same movement, 41 Credit Banks, properly safeguarded, had been 
established for the benefit of borrowers. By the Act of 1899, the 
Vice-President was to be ex officio member of the Congested Districts 
Board, and the Department was to take over agriculture, fisheries, 
and education, under special Acts. An income of about £160,000 
a year was secured to it. 

A certain pedantry and want of tact obscured the real excellence 
of much of Mr. Gerald Balfour's administration. Unfortunate words, 
when speaking of the wants of the people during a time of great distress, 
excited bitter anger, and he left office (November 1900) without having 
won any liking from the landlord party, whose interests, as they 
believed, he had betrayed, or from the people, whose feelings he had 


not sufficiently considered. It remained for a more gracious personage, 
Mr. Wyndham, in subsequent years to reap the fruit of Mr. Balfour's 
work, and so far to ingratiate himself with all classes as apparently 
to bring within sight a friendly solution to the bitter struggle which 
had so long torn the unfortunate country. 

As in his former administrations, Lord Salisbury had retained the 
Salisbury's Foreign Office in his own hands. Considering the large 

foreign policy. cr0 p f foreign questions which immediately, and some- 
what unexpectedly, assaulted the Unionist Ministry, this was no doubt 
fortunate for the country. His sagacious, well-instructed, and peace- 
loving mind precluded all idea of that aggressive imperialism which 
had been the dread of former generations of Liberals. His policy of 
conciliation, stretched as it was sometimes thought even to an extreme, 
but which was in fact tempered by a very adequate view of the 
maintenance of British rights, carried the country through great 
external difficulties, and left the question of empire to be chiefly 
treated as a domestic question and in the hands of the Colonial 

Among the many foreign complications which required all Lord 
Salisbury's careful handling to unravel, one of the most 

Venezuela J ° ' 

boundary important was the dispute as to the frontier between 

Venezuela and British Guiana, a dispute which seemed 
at one time to threaten a serious quarrel with the United States. The 
question itself was of long standing, and far from simple. British 
Guiana had passed to the English from Holland by the Treaty of 1814. 
The Dutch had obtained this land from Spain, and their possession 
appears to have been ratified by an extradition treaty between the 
two countries, signed at Aranjuez in 1791. Had the limits of the 
country been carefully defined in either of these treaties, no difficulty 
would have arisen. The English were obviously the possessors of all 
that the Dutch had possessed, irrespective of any former claims of 
Spain. It was not until twenty years after the English treaty with 
Holland that the insurgents of Venezuela had won their independence 
and formed their Republic. But they assumed the position of being 
as it were the heirs of the Spaniards, and advanced claims to terri- 
tories which, though never effectively held, had no doubt belonged to 
Spain under the well-known Bull by which Pope Alexander VI. at the 
close of the fifteenth century had partitioned the new world between the 
Spaniards and Portuguese. But though the occupation of the country 
south of the Orinoco had been intrusted to the Capuchin Friars, their 
furthest settlement had advanced but little beyond their starting-point. 


From 183G, when the Republic of Venezuela was officially recog- 
nised by England, discussions on the boundaries had History of the 
been repeatedly renewed. In 1840 Sir Robert Schom- dispute from 
burgk was employed to define the boundary on geo- 
graphical lines ; but as this was done by the authority of the English 
Government alone, the definition had not the force of a treaty. In 
1850 it was agreed tha<t no occupation of the disputed territory should 
be permitted by either country, but by extraordinary carelessness the 
limits of the disputed country were again left undefined. Some years 
later gold was discovered in the district, and the Venezuelans, disregard- 
ing the arrangement of 1850, which seems indeed to have been obeyed 
by neither party, occupied the land, and, for the purpose of securing 
the assistance of the United States, made large concessions in it to 
American citizens. They now raised all their old pretensions, refused 
to acknowledge the Schomburgk line, and included in their demands 
country already occupied and administered by England. When the 
matter was first treated by Lord Salisbury in 1886, he had declared, 
and had issued a proclamation to that effect, that the English colonists 
would be assured of protection within the Schomburgk line. It was 
not however the question of boundary which was really important, 
but the complication in which it involved England with the United 
States. It seemed for a moment as though there could be no solution 
short of war. What is known is the Monroe doctrine lay at the 
bottom of this entanglement. When the Republics of South America 
were still young and only half established, it had seemed by no means 
improbable that the " Holy Alliance " might intervene in favour of the 
Bourbon monarchy, an event which the United States regarded as dis- 
astrous. George Canning, the consistent friend of the new American 
Republics, suggested that the interference of Europeans with the 
settlement of America might be regarded as inadmissible. President 
Monroe took up the theory, and in his presidential The Monroe 
address of 1823 formulated it. This doctrine thus doctrine, 
suggested by Canning and adopted by President Monroe in 1823 
declared that America would regard any interference on the part of 
European Powers with the progress or development of the Republican 
States of South America as an unfriendly act. At first merely an 
assertion of policy, the words had crystallized in the minds of American 
politicians into a doctrine with the validity of international law. The 
shifty Governments of the small South American Republics saw the 
advantage which it gave them, and in their constant financial quarrels 
with European countries from whence their capital was chiefly drawn, 


habitually attempted to shelter themselves under the power of the 
United States. 

Thus in the present instance Venezuela succeeded in raising to a 
very high pitch the anti-English feeling of the ultra-patriotic Americans. 
President Cleveland and his secretary, Mr. Olney, perhaps shared this 
feeling ; at all events they took advantage of it ; and England was 
astonished to hear words amounting to a serious threat fall from the 
lips of the President in a formal message to Congress. Both the 
message and the despatch of the Secretary which preceded it seemed 
to take it for granted that the English must be wrong, and that their 
object was the appropriation of other people's territory. Arbitration 
over the whole matter in dispute was demanded. But as the English 
Government had already declared itself as to the territory lying within 
the Schomburgk line, and as the despatch was accompanied with an 
obvious threat, the difficulty appeared insoluble. Lord 
tmry's able Salisbury, after some delay, replied in an able despatch, 

management. explaining the Monroe doctrine, and declining arbitra- 
tion except within definite limits. With great wisdom he avoided an 
angry rejoinder ; he recognise d that Mr. Cleveland's demonstration was 
a political flourish intended to win votes at the approaching Presidential 
election, and relied on the good sense both of the Americans and 
English not to press matters to extremity. Nor was he mistaken in his 
view. The mere chance of war had a disastrous effect on the financial 
position of America ; a monetary crisis and panic occurred, the temper 
of the people underwent a complete change, and the President's threat 
proved fatal to his own re-election. Firmness and tact on both sides, 
and the able management of the question by the English ambassador, 
Sir Julian Pauncefort, enabled the countries to escape from the apparent 
dilemma. Nay more, the representatives of the two countries agreed 
upon a general treaty for submitting all future disputes to arbitration. 
Though the American Senate at first refused to ratify it, its principles 
were carried out in the dispute with Venezuela. A Commission and 
an umpire were appointed, with instructions to settle the boundary, 
subject only to the limitation that there should be no transference 
on either side of properties already occupied. Two years later, in 
October 1899, when the arbitration was completed, it appeared that on 
nearly every point the English pretensions had been justified. At the 
same time, American susceptibilities had been saved. The United 
States had been allowed to appear as mediator, and as the whole of 
the British demands had not been granted, it was possible for the 
Americans to believe that their interference had not been useless. 


The heritage of difficulties laid upon Lord Salisbury was not confined 
to the West. On entering office he had found the 

m # Armenian 

affairs of Turkey and the East in a condition so critical atrocities, 
that war seemed scarcely to be avoided. In 189-4 all 
Europe had been shocked by terrible stones of Turkish atrocities in 
Armenia. A quarrel between the Armenians and Kurds in the moun- 
tains south of Erzeroum had ripened, after the arrival of Turkish troops, 
into a ruthless attack upon the Armenian inhabitants of the plain, and 
their destruction under circumstances of extreme barbarity. Stories 
of the most revolting cruelty, possibly somewhat exaggerated, came to 
the ears of Sir Philip Currie, the English ambassador at Constantinople. 
He at once remonstrated strongly with the Sultan, and received the 
hearty support of Lord Kimberley, then Minister for Foreign Affairs. 
The Sultan however took up the position which he maintained 
throughout the quarrel ; that, just as the countries in Europe found it 
necessary to take measures against anarchists and Socialists, so he was 
obliged to repress the Armenians who were threatening his State with 
revolution ; but he consented to set on foot the semblance of an inquiry, 
with the result that the massacres were absolutely denied. Totally 
disbelieving this denial, Lord Kimberley considered it his duty to 
attempt to give some reality to the article of the Berlin Treaty of 1878, 
by which the Porte had promised to carry into effect without delay such 
reforms as were required in the provinces inhabited by the Armenians. 
For this purpose he called to fresh life the concert of Europe, and 
invited all the great Powers to co-operate with him in forcing reforms 
upon the Porte. Russia and France alone took an active part in the 
movement ; Germany and Austria, though consenting, stood aloof. A 
new Commission of Inquiry, issued under pressure and including repre- 
sentatives of the European Powers, failed to make a satisfactory report. 
It was indeed obvious that the Turkish members of the Commission 
were determined to make the inquiry nugatory. Enough however 
transpired to enable the European representatives to assure their 
Governments that there had been no insurrection for the Turkish 
troops to suppress, and that their employment in support of the Kurds 
had been accompanied with atrocious cruelty. 

The very raison d'etre of the concert was the mutual jealousy of the 
Powers and their fear that the Eastern question might precipitate a 
great European convulsion, and it was impossible to expect any vigorous 
action from such an alliance. As this was quite evident to the Sultan, 
he could afford to regard their threats as idle thunder. He took no step 
to restore order in Armenia, and the massacres continued, spreading 


ever wider and wider among the provinces of Asia Minor. Lord 
Lord Kimber- Kimberley did his best. With the aid of Sir Philip 
ley's efforts, Cui'rie a scheme of reform, admitting Christians to a 

considerable share in the local administration, was 
drawn up and approved by the Powers. But the Sultan showed no 
intention of accepting the scheme or even of replying to their demand 
that it should be accepted. The anger of the English people was 
roused. Lord Kimberley began to lose patience ; he went so far as to 
tell the Kussian ambassador in England that " further delay would 
compel him to have recourse to methods of restraint." This was too 
much for the Eussian Minister, Prince Lobanoflf, who was already 
alarmed lest the infection of revolution should make its way among 
the Armenians dwelling in Russian territory. Either really dreading 
or pretending to dread the formation of a privileged and self-governing 
nationality in the heart of Asia Minor, he now declared that nothing 
would induce Russia to join in such active measures of compulsion 
as were implied in Lord Kimberley's words. Against such divided 
opponents the Sultan felt himself strong. His answer, which was 
received on the 3d of June, could be regarded as nothing less than an 
absolute refusal of the scheme of reform. 

England now stood to all intents and purposes alone. Russia would 
give no active assistance ; France was certain to follow in the wake of 
Russia ; while both Germany and Austria were determined notHo risk 
a disturbance which might bring on a European war. Lord Kimberley^ 
however stood firm ; he declared that, either with or without the other 
Powers, the English Government could not repudiate the duty laid 
upon them by the Berlin Treaty. He even ventured to propose an 
ultimatum, and to seek once more, though it must have been without 
hope, for the co-operation of the other Powers. Prince Lobanorf 
appeared to agree, but declared that it was at all events necessary to 
refer the proposal for the consideration of the Czar. 

While this measure was still under discussion, the wholly unexpected 
and trivial vote in the English House of Commons with 
Ministry, July respect to the supply of cordite produced a Ministerial 
1895 ' crisis, and obliged the energetic Minister to leave the 

unfinished question in the hands of his successor. It seems certain 
that but for that curious incident England would have entered single- 
handed upon the task of bringing the Porte to reason ; and, considering 
the lukewarm attitude of Russia, it is unlikely that the Porte would 
have yielded, at any rate without a severe struggle. 

Lord Salisbury, who took up the quarrel at this critical moment, was 


;i statesman of the old school, believing in the powers of diplomacy, 
and that the first duty of that art was the avoidance of 

J , , JjOrd Salis- 

war. ICntirel y devoid of sentiment, cynical and some- bury-sdipio- 
wbat fatalistic in his views, he was not gravely touched macy - 
by the condition of the Armenians, and certainly regarded their suffer- 
ings as an evil not to be compared in magnitude with that of a great 
European war. The backbone of his policy was the maintenance of 
that agreement between the Powers which appeared to be on the 
point of dissolution. There was no necessity for hurried action; the 
circumstances of his unexpected restoration to office afforded very valid 
reasons for delay. While therefore he declared generally that he 
accepted the action of the late Government, he proceeded as a first 
Btep to attempt the repair of the broken concert. His great authority, 
and the esteem in which he was held as a European statesman, 
enabled him to succeed where Lord Kimberley had failed. It was 
thus with the joint weight of the three great Powers that the reforms 
were again pressed upon the Sultan. But it soon became evident that 
this co-operation was only temporary, and that it could only be 
purchased at the price of inaction; for when once more an answer 
was returned from the Porte, yielding indeed on some small points, but 
entirely ignoring the real principles of the scheme, Lord Salisbury 
found himself in the selfsame dilemma as Lord Kimberley. Again the 
choice was presented of attempting single-handed compulsion, or of 
adopting a patient diplomacy which was likely enough to end in 
defeat. He accepted the latter alternative, and for a moment it seemed 
as if his patience was to be rewarded. He devised a new scheme, the 
prominent feature of which was a mixed commission of Europeans and 
Turks charged with the duty of watching the Government in the dis- 
turbed districts. The Sultan liked this scheme even less than that 
of Lord Kimberley, but finding that the Powers were unanimous in 
urging it upon him, he eluded the necessity of accepting it by issuing 
a reform scheme of his own, which ostensibly secured to the Christians 
a considerable share of self-government. 

It appeared at the time to be a complete diplomatic triumph. But 
Lord Salisbury was not deceived ; he recognised the difference 
between words and deeds, and it was in reference to these very promises 
that he uttered a gloomy and even threatening speech at Guildhall 
on the 9th of November. " While I readily admit," he said, " that 
it is quite possible for the Sultan of Turkey, if he will, to govern all 
his subjects in justice and in peace, he is not exempt more than any 
other potentate from the law that injustice will bring the highest od 


earth to ruin." The mistrust thus expressed drew a letter from the 
Sultan, almost pathetic in its terms, declaring his honest intentions. 
Yet the Prime Minister's incredulity was fully justified. Even at this 
The massacres verv time frightful massacres were occurring wherever 
continue. Armenians or Christians were in any numbers. The 

stories are far too terrible and too numerous to be given : 400 
Armenians killed at Erzeroum, 1300 at Bipert, 200 villages sacked in 
the neighbourhood of Van, 1100 Christians murdered with every 
circumstance of wickedness in the town of Diarbekir ; such were the 
reports which were constantly arriving. On the whole, it is said that 
25,000 lost their lives in this year, and this, not in wild uproars, but 
by more or less organised attacks of Turkish soldiers, and by the 
connivance of Turkish officials. 

Remonstrance was unavailing ; the same answer was always ready, 
that the Armenians were anarchical conspirators, and that the anger of 
the loyal Mussulman was roused beyond restraint by the meddlesome 
support afforded by , the Christian Powers to their co-religionists. 
Single-handed, England could do nothing; and Russia persistently 
declined to take action. There was therefore no check to the work 
of destruction, and the position of the unfortunate Armenians appeared 
hopeless. Diplomatic action can never be successful unless there lie 
behind it the forces of war. Threatening but afraid to strike, 
encouraging but afraid to help, the European Powers did but play 
into the hands of their adversary. Rendered desperate by unsatisfied 
hopes, and still half believing that assistance would be given them, the 
more violent spirits among the Armenians broke into open rebellion. 
There was something of truth in the Turkish assertion as to the 
■ existence of a secret revolutionary society. In August 
constanti- 1896 its members threw aside all caution ; explosions 

nopie. £ DOmDS an( j dynamite took place in many parts of 

Constantinople, and the Ottoman Bank was occupied by the insurgents. 
The excuse long waited for had now been put into the hands of the 
Sultan. The soldiery and the mob made common cause, and for two 
days the streets of Constantinople were a scene of horrible pillage and 
butchery in which some 5000 Christians are said to have perished. 
This outbreak of the Armenians in Constantinople itself, proving to 
all appearance the reality of the alleged revolutionary society, dis- 
armed even their European friends. No satisfactory reply could be 
given when the Sultan issued a note, declaring that his merciful 
reforms had been rejected by his rebellious subjects, who would be 
satisfied with nothing short of an administrative self-government such 


as would practically break up his empire, a disaster to which he could 
never submit. The tables were indeed turned when the note closed 
with a demand for the extradition of the refugees, and a charge 
against Europe of harbouring revolutionists. 

Never was there a more complete failure than that which had 
attended the efforts of the European concert to save or to avenge the 
wretched victims of Turkish misrule. 

But if in his extreme desire to avoid war, his dread of European 
complications, and his belief in the power of his own insurrections 
diplomacy, Lord Salisbury had been betrayed into in Crete, 
adopting a course which had led to signal failure, his efforts were 
somewhat more successful in another and similar case which arose 
at the same time. The Christians and Mahomedans in the isle of 
Crete stood on more equal terms than in Asia Minor. The Cretans 
in fact had never been thoroughly subdued ; resistance to Turkish 
misrule was there traditional. Driven to insurrection in 1895, they had 
been for the time suppressed. But in the summer of the following 
year the island was again a scene of anarchy. There was thus 
another opportunity for the interference of the European concert, 
and, acting at first together, the Powers were successful. The Cretan 
insurgents demanded that the Governor of the island should be a 
Christian, that the Turkish troops should be confined to certain 
fortresses, and that a predominant share of the administration should 
be placed in Christian hands. The Powers pressed these reforms 
npon the Porte ; and the Sultan was compelled to yield and to 
promulgate a constitution more or less in accordance with the wishes of 
the insurgents. But reforms in Turkey, carried out upon the authority 
of the Sultan, appear always to have the same result : no advantage 
accrues to the Christians for whose benefit they are intended ; the 
Mahomedans break out in anger and have recourse to outrage; the 
Government is either unable or unwilling to bring them to order. 
Thus it happened now in Crete. A weak Christian Governor, a strong 
Turkish Commander-in-Chief, an abundant use of Turkish troops, soon 
produced wild commotion. In order to localise the disturbance the 
Mediterranean fleets of the various Powers gathered round the island, 
although the formation of a complete cordon round it was not carried 
out. But it was not from the fleets of the great Powers that the 
Cretans hoped to receive material assistance. The country with 
which they were naturally most in sympathy was Greece, and it was 
to Greece that they now appealed for help in their distress. Foolishly 
overrating its strength, and perhaps believing that its action would 


not be unpleasing to the Powers however much they might protest 
against it, Greece listened favourably to the appeal. A Greek flotilla 
under Prince George (the second son of the King of Greece) was 
despatched to Crete to distract attention while Colonel Vassos with 
some 1500 men landed on the coast. The admirals of the European 
fleets compelled Prince George to retire, though not until his imme- 
diate object had been attained, and the troops had been safely landed. 
The admirals, unable to give frank support to either party, were 
driven to content themselves with the occupation of certain towns from 
which they bade the insurgents to hold aloof. 

The task which Greece had undertaken was nothing less than a 
interference of war with Turkey, and troops were rapidly collecting 
Greece. on i^^ s j(j es f the frontier line. The peaceful plans 

of the European concert were thus entirely upset. Great was the 
wrath of the Powers ; most of them desired to punish the interference 
of Greece with a heavy hand. Here however Lord Salisbury inter- 
vened with effect, and insisted that the future of Crete must be first satis- 
factorily determined. He was himself in favour of establishing autonomy 
on the island, and persuaded his colleagues to accept His suggestion. 
From this vantage ground it was possible to address with effect both 
the would-be belligerents at once. Greece was told that the Powers 
having made up their mind, the troops and ships must be withdrawn 
within six days or active measures would be taken against them ; and 
it was intimated to the Porte that the autonomy of Crete would be at 
once established. This two-sided declaration should have resulted 
in peace ; but the question at issue was already decided. Unfortunately 
for itself, Greece had been seized with an overweening ambition, and 
while the ' Sultan expressed his willingness to accept the condition 
(which by no means implied that he intended to carry it out), Greece 
refused to retire. The position for the moment was absurd enough. 
The concert of European Powers, created to coerce Turkey, found 
itself actually supporting it against the only country which had had 
courage enough to withstand its tyranny. It was in vain that a strict 
blockade was instituted and every effort made to induce the insurgents 
to lay down their arms. In April 1897 the war on the mainland 
broke out. The conduct of neither the army nor the navy justified the 
sanguine and ambitious hopes of the Greeks. It soon became evident 
that a terrible blunder had been committed. Before the end of May 
the series of defeats to which their arms had been subjected had proved 
to the Greeks the uselessness of continued efforts, and a new Ministry 
was formed for the purpose of making peace. Now that events had 


rendered the war innocuous, the Powers were naturally inclined to be 
tender to the Greek interests. Lord Salisbury took a prominent part 
in arranging the terms of peace, and limiting the large demands which 
success encouraged Turkey to advance. Thessaly was restored to 
Greece, and peace was purchased by a rectification of the frontier and 
a payment of a war indemnity of £4,000,000. As a preliminary 
step, Greece promised to resign all claims on Crete and to accept the 
establishment of an autonomous Government. 

Thus the interest of the question returned back to the island. 
There seemed every prospect of an interminable dispute settlement of 
as to the person to whom the government should be Crete. 
intrusted. After much discussion, Russia ventured to propose Prince 
George of Greece. It was impossible that such a proposition should 
be at once favourably received. The dissensions among the Powers 
were the opportunity of the Turks, there was no withdrawal of troops 
from the island while the wrangling went on. At last what threatened 
to become a deadlock was solved somewhat unexpectedly by the break- 
ing up of the concert. The German Emperor, who had throughout 
held a strong view in opposition to Greece, took umbrage not only 
at the proposition of the Eussian candidate, but at the disregard paid 
on more than one occasion to his advice, and repudiated all further 
share in concerted action. He was followed by Austria. The remain- 
ing Powers felt obliged to act, and gave their admirals instruction 
to set up the autonomous Government at once. But the Turkish 
troops were still not withdrawn, for the Porte had not unnaturally 
grown less submissive amid the quarrels of the allies. On the Gth of 
September the Mahomedans went so far as to attack a British force 
in Crete, and several officers and men were killed and wounded. 
Admiral Noel could no longer endure the restraints of diplomacy. 
He bombarded the town and demanded the instant withdrawal of the 
Turkish troops. Thus Lord Salisbury's hand was forced ; it was 
impossible for him to refuse to support the action of his admiral. He was 
compelled to declare that in the last resort England would act alone. 
The mere threat was sufficient, the Powers of the concert were 
at once roused to action. Admiral Noel undertook the civil adminis- 
tration of Crete, and under the escort of British troops the Turks were 
marched out of the island. There was no longer any difficulty in carry- 
ing out the necessary changes, and on December 21, 1897, Prince George 
landed and took over the government. His success seemed complete. 
Peace and order began to find a place in the troubled island. 

The action of Lord Salisbury had been throughout the Eastern 


question directed entirely to the preservation of peace ; so much so 
that there were not a few of his political opponents who considered 
that he had been too conciliatory, and accused him of allowing 
England to be dragged ignominiously in the wake of the other members 
Affairs in of the European concert. This was a complaint which 

Egypt. could at all events not be made against the conduct 

of the Ministry in respect to Egypt. Both political parties were 
pledged to ultimate withdrawal from that country, but the moment 
when that pledge should be redeemed appeared to be left to the 
judgment of each successive English Ministry. To the party now 
in power the lengthened occupation of the high road to India seemed, 
from an imperial point of view, to be of the greatest importance. 
The work of the English had without doubt been highly salutary, 
and there was no difficulty in finding a plausible excuse for con- 
tinuing the occupation. It might not unreasonably be said, as 
Mr. Balfour did say when declaring the position of the Government 
in this matter, that the condition of Egypt could not be regarded as 
satisfactory until control had been re-established over the Soudan. 
That is to say, the condition on which the pledge of withdrawal 
rested could not be fulfilled till Egypt had regained the provinces con- 
quered by the Dervishes in 1886. The occasion of this clear declara- 
tion of policy was a vote of censure moved by Mr. Morley, when it 
had become known that preparations were made for the advance of 
the Egyptian and British troops in March 189G. 

The immediate causes for the action of the Government appear to 
„,, „ „ have been two — the one to assist the Italians, the other 

The Soudan . ' 

campaign, to free the Egyptian frontier from a possible assault of 

the Mahdi's troops. The Italian attempt to play their 
part in the general game of territorial expansion which was going on, 
by establishing a colonial province on the lied Sea, had brought 
them into contact with Abyssinia ; their army had been severely 
handled at Adowa, and at the same time their fortress of Kassala was 
threatened by the Dervishes. From this danger the English advance 
would probably relieve them. The Egyptian frontier was at present 
fixed at Wady Haifa, but it seemed almost certain that the invasion of 
the Mahdists would be continued, and the frontier be driven still 
further back. A defence upon offensive lines appeared the wisest 
course to adopt. Sir Herbert Kitchener, the Sirdar of the Egyptian 
army, had therefore received instructions to move southward, and on 
the 20th of March he crossed the existing frontier line, and pushed 
on to Akasheh, on the way to Dongola. 


Considerable difficulty had been found in obtaining the money for 
the expedition. The probability of complications with the European 
powers became evident from the first. Freedom of action in Egypt 
was seriously hampered by the arrangements which had been entered 
into at the time of the liquidation of the Egyptian debt ; France and 
Russia had refused to allow Egypt to draw the half million necessary 
for the expedition from the " Caisse de la dette." They even went 
to law upon the subject, and won their case both before the mixed 
tribunals and on appeal. England however solved this difficulty by 
advancing the money, though not without an interchange of words 
which were scarcely friendly with the French Ministry. 

The Sirdar's march was a complete success. The railway was 
pushed on as he advanced, gunboats accompanied him, 
and before the end of the year 1896 the town and march to 
province of Dongola were again united to Egypt. It a oum " 
is not clear that the Government had determined to reconquer the 
whole Soudan when they began their operations; it would seem in 
fact that the movement was somewhat tentative. The success which 
attended it allowed them to form a more definite determination, and 
in the following year it became certain that the expedition would not 
stop short of Khartoum. Very slowly, but very surely, the Sirdar 
advanced up the river, still creating the railway behind him as he 
went. The whole of 1897 was employed in preparations. The 
capture of outposts, the exploration of the river by the gunboats, the 
continuous advance of the railway, and the renewal of friendly 
relations with the inhabitants, paved the way for the final assault upon 
the heart of the Mahdist empire. In 1898 the blow so ably prepared 
fell. A brilliant victory on the Atbara (April 8) rendered the pos- 
session of the province of Berber secure ; and as the autumn 
approached, the army, which had been concentrated for a final effort, 
came in sight of Omdurman. The Dervishes moved „ , M 

1 1 n -1 -i Battle of 

out to meet them. An attack on all sides was made omdurman, 
on the British position and maintained with heroic Sept " 2 ' 1898 ' 
bravery for several hours. The Dervishes were however compelled 
to withdraw, and the Egyptian army continued its advance towards 
the town. They were again, while on their march, suddenly assaulted 
upon their right (lank with extraordinary vehemence, and disaster 
was only averted by the able arrangements of Colonel Hector Mac- 
donald and the firmness of the British troops under his command. 
The destruction of life was great. It is probable that the victorious 
advance of the native Egyptian troops was marked by acts of 


cruelty not allowed in civilised warfare ; but the temptation to kill 
the wounded, who it was well known were ready to fire at the 
backs of the troops as they advanced, was irresistible, and affords 
much excuse for the unusual destruction of life. It was the last 
effort of the Dervishes. Omdurman was undefended, the Mahdist 
empire was virtually at an end. The toil and skill of the English 
officers who had been intrusted with the reformation of the Egyptian 
Army since 1882 had been rewarded, the native soldiers had proved 
themselves under such leading formidable and trustworthy troops. 

The business of re-establishing the old limits of the Egyptian 
empire had been done well, but it was not to be expected that it 
would meet with approval in Europe. The triumphant close of the 
expedition seemed likely to be but the prelude of a great war with 
France. Instructions had been given to the Sirdar to take measures 
to secure all the provinces which had once belonged to Egypt, and it 
was hoped that he would effect a junction with an expedition under 
Colonel James Macdonald, which was making its way northward from the 
The French at Uganda Protectorate. The union of the Anglo-Egyptian 
Fasnoda. sphere of influence with the district of Lake Victoria 

would have gone far towards realising the dream of African empire 
which Mr. Rhodes had briefly summed up when he declared his hope of 
seeing an English railway running from the Cape to Cairo. Fanciful 
though the dream may have been, it had taken great hold of the 
public mind, and the victorious reoccupation of the Soudan seemed 
to bring it almost within reach. Great therefore was the shock 
when news arrived in England that the Sirdar, in his progress south- 
ward, had arrived at Fashoda and found a fort flying the French flag, 
and held by Captain Marchand, a French officer. A slight failure in 
judgment, a little over hasty self-assertion which would not have been 
unnatural in a commander stopped in his victorious career by an 
obstacle apparently so trivial, might have produced disastrous results. 
But Lord Kitchener, conscious of the extreme awkwardness of the 
situation, carefully avoided any act of war. As a matter of fact his 
arrival had saved the French expedition from destruction, for not 
only were its provisions exhausted, but it was threatened by the 
Dervishes in overwhelming numbers. He asked Captain Marchand 
to proceed to Cairo, but on his refusal he allowed him to remain 
unmolested with the French flag still flying over his fort, and 
contented himself with hoisting the Egyptian flag and stationing 
a large body of troops in the immediate neighbourhood. The 
incident itself, with the fearful issues involved in it, he regarded 


as too important to be treated on his own authority, and he wisely 
left the further steps to be taken to the decision of the Governments of 
England and France, in order that it might be treated as an inter- 
national question. 

The incident of Fashoda was but an extreme instance of a policy 
loner pursued by the French ; for in the colonial __ 

■ i-n tit, it French en- 

aggression of the time the 1< rench had taken a leading croachments 
part, and had found a field for their activity in North inWestAfrica - 
Africa. They had claimed as their " sphere of influence " the whole 
of the " hinterland " lying behind their colonies of Algeria and Tunis, 
and extending as far as Lake Chad. The claim had been accepted, 
and a line had been drawn for their southern boundary, from Sey on 
the Niger to Barua on the south-west side of Lake Chad, beyond 
which line the English " sphere of influence " under the management 
of the Niger Company began. The difficulties in the way of 
approaching Lake Chad from the north were almost insurmountable. 
But the French also had colonies on the west coast, Senegal and Sene- 
gambia, and Dahomey further to the south. And though recognising 
the Sey-Barua line as the southern limit of the " hinterland " of 
Algeria, they held themselves at liberty to work eastward and north- 
ward from their w r est-coast settlements so as to lap round the English 
colony of Lagos, and to obtain command of the Upper Niger on the 
southern side of this accepted line. The frontier between the French 
in Dahomey and the English in Lagos had been settled as far as the 
11th parallel ; and the understanding of the English was that this line, 
which ran straight northward from Porto Novo on the coast, was to be 
continued to Sey. The French however, very anxious for an outlet 
upon the navigable Upper Niger, had pushed in between the 11th 
parallel and Sey, and had even crossed the Niger and established posts 
in what had been the country of Sokoto, which w 7 as undeniably under 
English influence. Negotiations had been entered into on this point, 
and a Convention had been drawn up, by which the English allowed 
their frontier line to end at llo on the Niger, the district intervening 
between llo and Sey falling to France. Six months had been allowed 
for the ratification of this Convention, and it was still uncompleted 
when the battle of Omdurman took place. 

But besides their northern and their western colonies, the French 
claimed a considerable territory above the Congo. French en- 
From this also they had pushed eastward and were fn^h^^ne 3 
establishing themselves on the Ubangi. It was from of the Nile, 
this furthest province that they had despatched Captain Marchand's 


party for the purpose of securing for themselves an uninterrupted exit 
upon the Nile. Up to this time they had in this direction been only 
occupying what might be considered as lying legitimately within 
their sphere of influence. But secret instructions had more than 
once been given to their officials to push on down the river Bahr- 
el-Ghazal and secure their connection with the Nile. It seems im- 
possible to deny that in thus acting they were wilfully taking what 
they knew full well would be regarded by England as a hostile step. 
For again and again the English Government had declared openly 
their claim to exert a sole and paramount influence over the valley 
of the Nile. In the Treaty with Germany of 1890, and subse- 
quently while treating both with Italy and the Congo State, the 
declaration had been made without any objection from France ; and 
in 1895 Sir Edward Grey, Under Secretary of State, had taken the 
opportunity of a forward movement on the part of M. Leotard, the 
Governor of Ubangi, to utter a formal protest in the House of Commons, 
and to declare in words understood by all diplomatists to be of the 
gravest import, that " any attempt to encroach upon the Nile valley 
would be regarded as an unfriendly act." 

It was impossible for Lord Salisbury to disregard the claim thus 
„ , publicly made, or to let himself be drawn into negotia- 

Tne French . , '. . 

withdraw from tions on the subject. He at once took up a firm posi- 
tion, demanding the immediate removal of Marchand, 
and declining even to listen to the arguments of the French ; for 
Monsieur Delcasse, the French Minister, attempted to vindicate his 
action by arguments which were really trivial. At first he denied that 
the Marchand expedition was an expedition at all ; the captain was 
merely "an emissary of civilisation," sent forward by M. Leotard; but 
the equipment of the expedition did not allow of such a construction. 
He then urged that the valley of the Bahr-el-Ghazal had become, after 
the withdrawal of the Egyptians in 1886, a "no man's land," open to 
the occupation of any Power. The French had however on more 
than one occasion declared, and claimed credit for the declaration, 
that they would not allow the temporary loss of these provinces to 
invalidate the permanence of the Khedive's right over them. They 
had on this plea ejected the officials of the Congo State, and obliged 
the Belgians to relinquish a lease which they had contracted with the 
Egyptians ; but indeed it was scarcely the weakness of their own 
arguments which obliged them to give way. It was plain from every 
utterance of the public men of all parties in England that the country 
would support Lord Salisbury even though he brought on a war. The 

1894] CHINA AND JAPAN 219 

French Government thought it wise to yield to this demonstration and 
withdrew from Fashoda. Lord Salisbury was able to say (November 4, 
1898), in the Guildhall, that the immediate crisis was passed. "A 
cause of controversy of an acute and somewhat dangerous character 
has been removed, and we cannot but congratulate ourselves." Ne- 
gotiations followed, by which the limits, not hitherto very clearly 
defined, between the French and English spheres of influence, were 
settled; and the whole valley of the Nile and its tributaries was 
formally reserved to England. There is no doubt that the firmness 
of Lord Salisbury's action in this matter, which in the case of one so 
peace-loving must have presented much difficulty, was of great im- 
portance, and did more than even the battle of Omdurman to establish 
the position of England in the political world. There were those who 
saw in it a key to what had appeared a somewhat weak inclination 
to yield to the demands of Germany and Russia, more especially in 
the further East. Lord Salisbury had felt it necessary to avoid any 
complications which might form an obstacle to the firm attitude 
he was resolved to assume with regard to the advances of France in 

Affairs in the Corea had brought on a war between Japan and China 
in 1894. It was short and decisive. As in other matters, m ^ 

. , , , War between 

so m their army and navy the Japanese had adopted china and 
European methods; their troops, drilled by French Japan - 
and German officers, were constantly victorious; while one army, 
pushing round the north of the gulf of Pechili, advanced upon Pekin, 
a second army captured the strong fortress of Port Arthur and occupied 
the peninsula of Liaotong. 

The unexpected collapse of China in its war with Japan revealed 
the weakness of that great Empire. Not unnaturally. 

Interests of 

every European country which had interests in the far European 
Bast thought that the "time had arrived for securing countries - 
and enlarging them. Thus Russia, which was hard at work on its 
trans-Siberian railway, wished to secure a satisfactory commercial 
terminus to that great undertaking. As a naval Power, it had long 
aimed at securing a harbour for its fleet which should not be closed 
during many months of the year by ice as Vladivostok was; and, 
being in immediate contact with the Chinese empire, it naturally 
desired a preponderating influence at Pekin. France, smitten with 
the colonial fever of the time, and full of mercantile jealousy, saw a 
hope of increasing the value of its establishments in Tonquin, and 
of thwarting the commercial supremacy of England by securing an 




access to the heart of China in that direction. Germany, whose trade 
interests were very large, was just at this time eagerly looking towards 
the formation of a strong fleet, and wanted a secure port and coaling 
station for its ships in the China seas. The interests of England 
were in some ways far greater than those of any of the other Powers ; 
its trade amounted to 80 per cent, of the whole foreign exports of 
China ; but these interests were not local, they were spread over the 

M O N G O L :••.....! A 

Scale of Miles 
o 50 100 150 200 


Walker & Cockerel] sc, 

whole empire. There was no desire on the part of England to acquire 
territory. Opportunity for the free expansion of trade, the maintenance 
and the enlargement of the treaties by which from time to time that 
opportunity had been won, were the points on which the English 
Ministers would naturally have to insist. As the burden of territory 
was not desired, their efforts were directed to maintain the integrity 
of the Chinese empire, and to seek commercial advantages through the 


action of the Chinese themselves. The integrity of the empire thus 
became the first object of British policy. Freedom from any differential 
treatment which should hamper trade followed in its wake. To secure 
either one or the other must have taxed to the extreme the diplomatic 
capacity of any body of statesmen. Nut only was it necessary to fight 
the battle against the whole body of counter-interests, it was necessary 
also to steer between the rival interests of the opponents themselves. 
The task was greater than could be accomplished ; and Lord Salisbury 
and Mr. Balfour found themselves obliged, after a lengthened and 
many-sided struggle, to be contented with a state of things which, if 
it did not realise their objects in a completed form, seemed at least 
to secure England from any great disadvantage. 

The most striking episode in this diplomatic war was the struggle 
with Russia. The efforts of the English Ministry to Russia secures 
exclude Russia from the Liaotong peninsula were not Port Arthur. 
well conceived, and wore an appearance of half-heartedness. Indeed 
it may be gathered from their utterances in England that they had 
no great objection to gratifying the Russian desire for an ice-free 
port. At all events, in their contest with Count Mouravieff, a 
diplomatist wmose methods were not of a very scrupulous character, 
they were completely worsted. After occupying the harbour of 
Port Arthur in the winter of 1897, the Russians, under the excuse 
that, unable to reach their own icy port, they were enjoying the 
hospitality of China, speedily succeeded in obtaining a lease which 
practically placed in their hands not only Port Arthur itself, but 
Tali-en-wan, its commercial neighbour, and the whole large province 
of Manchuria. 

But Russia had not been the first to lay hands upon Chinese 
territorv. Already Germany had struck its blow. m 
With a knowledge that Russia was certain to obtain secures Kiao- 
a port, and that Kiao-chow in the Chan Tung province chow - 
was one of the ports coveted, Germany suddenly seized upon it. The 
opportunity of which advantage was taken was the murder of certain 
German missionaries in the province of Chan Tung. As the fullest 
apologies were offered and severe penalties exacted, the murder was 
plainly but an excuse. The temporary occupation was speedily 
changed into a lease, giving the Germans sovereign rights over the 
whole of the Chan Tung province. Thus in the face of continual 
diplomatic opposition, two steps had been taken which appeared to 
thwart irretrievably the English policy of territorial integrity. 

The third step, which proclaimed to the world at once the diplomatic 


defeat of the English Government and their determination to maintain 
En land ^ e i r position in China at all hazards, was the occupa- 

securesWai- tion, in May 1898, by England itself of Wai-hei-wai, a 
port immediately facing Port Arthur, and which at 
the time was held to be highly defensible. Another breach in their 
original policy speedily followed. Not to be left behind in the acqui- 
sition of coast settlements, France had obtained a lease of Kwang 
Chow Lung in the south near Tonquin. The English Government 
thought it necessary, as a counterpoise to this increase of the French 
power, to obtain a considerable extension of the old settlement of Kan 
Lung, on the mainland just opposite Hong Kong, which was very 
desirable for the complete defence of that great mercantile centre. 

It seemed at the time, in the middle of the year 1898, as though 
China in its decadence was to undergo the fate of the African conti- 
nent, and fall a prey to the system of spheres of influence, sea-coast 
settlements, occupation of hinterlands, and all the other apparatus of 
European aggression. But here the policy of Lord Salisbury was more 
successful. Allowing the principle of " spheres of influence," or rather 
Salisbury's " °f interest," and claiming for England the whole valley 

negotiations. f the Yang-tsi-Chiang, he coupled it with a modified 
attempt to revindicate the integrity of the Chinese empire. While 
obtaining great and valuable concessions for English trade, he bound 
the Chinese Government not to part with any of the provinces in which 
the interest of England could be regarded as paramount. The other 
countries followed his example, and before the close of the year 1899, 
with the exception of Manchuria and Chan-Tung, the Chinese provinces 
were all safeguarded by treaties of non-alienation with one or other 
of the great European Powers. As long as the Chinese Government 
was maintained and would keep its treaties, it was unable, even though 
it desired it, to disintegrate itself. With this indirect and modified re- 
constitution of their territorial policy, the English Ministry had to be 
content. This part of their policy had in fact been always regarded as 
subordinate to what was after all the real interest of England, the 
opening of opportunities for commercial expansion. And even so, it 
had been more or less complicated with European politics. It had 
been necessary to conciliate the friendship of Germany, and to avoid 
a breach with Russia, if England was to stand clear and unhampered 
in the important discussions to which the action of France in Africa 
was at the time giving rise. There was some truth in the assertion 
of the Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, that the interests of 
the trade with China were more or less sacrificed to the necessities 


of European politics. The acquisition of Port Arthur by Russia 
not only drove the English Government to abandon their avowed 
policy and to acquire fresh territory, it also compelled them to meddle 
directly in commercial matters which had hitherto been left to indi- 
viduals or companies. They were themselves obliged henceforward 
to undertake the business of extracting concessions from the Chinese, 
and openly to devote themselves to the support of mercantile interests. 
No treaty was henceforward made between China and any one of the 
Powers without a demand on the part of England for equality of 
treatment. And only in the case of Manchuria and Chan Tung did 
they fail in making good their claim. Everywhere the old treaty 
rights granted to all Europeans in common were carefully upheld. 
Separate action was as far as possible avoided ; and where concessions 
were obtained the companies to which they were granted were of 
an international character in which more than one nation had an 
interest. The possibility of the exclusion of British interests was 
thus largely diminished. Even in Manchuria it was found possible 
to come to a friendly arrangement with Russia, by which at all events 
the two countries bound themselves not to throw obstacles in each 
other's way in their respective spheres of influence. The somewhat 
late appearance of the United States upon the scene set a seal upon 
the success of this " open door " policy, as it was called. Their 
Minister, Mr. Hay, succeeded in obtaining from Russia, France, 
Germany, Italy, and Japan, a declaration that they would respect 
vested interests. The signatories declared their readiness to refrain 
from interference with the privileges of any treaty port, and from any 
attack, by the imposition of differential duties, upon the advantages 
already secured by their commercial rivals within any sphere of 
interest under their control or within any area held by them on lease. 
It is plain that the whole success, such as it was, of this policy 
(Upended on the power of China to maintain itself. _ 
Treaties and concessions formed the basis of a system surrection, 
which could last only so long as there remained a 
Power capable of treating and conceding. That China w T ould long 
continue to be such a Power was by no means a matter of certainty. 
The rival claims and interests of European countries had scarcely 
been brought into workable shape, when events in the Chinese empire 
itself drove them to make common cause in assaulting it. The 
Japanese war had been a rude awakening of the rulers of China 
from their habitual complacency. Blow after blow had fallen upon 
the empire, whicb was now exhibiting all the pathetic symptoms of 


slow decay. The shifty diplomacy of weakness, the unwilling conces- 
sion now to one Power now to another, the latent hope of playing 
off one against the other, the anger smothered beneath an enforced 
show of civility, characteristics which constantly mark the deca- 
dence of a venerable but worn-out civilisation, all were there. But 
amid these signs of decay there were statesmen who recognised the 
causes of weakness, and were not without hope that by reforms, and 
by the adoption of some at least of the weapons of their adversaries, 
the country might be recalled to renewed life. The Emperor, a man 
of feeble character, seems for awhile to have listened to their teaching, 
and to have issued edicts enforcing widespread changes. But it is not 
every people who, like the Japanese, can suddenly forget their past, 
and honestly accept the forms and requirements of a new state of 
society. Centuries of isolation, of contempt and hatred of foreign in- 
terference, were not to be wiped out by any imperial edicts. Apart 
from the administrative body, the bulk of the vast nation retained its 
deeply rooted belief in the excellence of its own institutions and hatred 
of the foreigner. The administrative body, itself deeply corrupt, was 
divided in opinion, and, although the union of races was generally 
believed to have been fairly well established, divided in race also. 
The reforming temper found its home chiefly among men of the old 
Chinese race, and its leaders in the viceroys of the great southern 
provinces. Conservatism was chiefly prevalent among the Manchu 
nobles of the north. Circumstances had allowed the Emperor and his 
reforming friends to secure the reins of government. But in 1898 the 
Empress-dowager, a woman of masculine character and ability, who 
had exercised paramount influence in the earlier years of the reign, 
carried out a coup d'etat, and re-established herself and her party as 
the real directors of the imperial policy. The change of government 
did not at first appear to bring with it any immediate change in the 
relations of the empire with foreign Powers. But the anti-foreign 
feeling was allowed to assert itself more freely, and the secret societies, 
of which China has always been full, began to show active hostility. 
There were outbreaks in many places, and missionaries were ill-used 
and put to death. The most vigorous of the anti-foreign societies was 
known as the Sacred Harmony Fists, and the name of " Boxers " was 
applied generally to the rebels. They gradually extended their action 
through the northern provinces, killing native Christians as well as 
foreigners with many circumstances of cruelty. 

Although some pretence at suppressing these movements was made, 
the European representatives were convinced that it was merely a 

1900] SIEGE OF PEK1N 225 

pretence ; and early in 1900 letters were sent to their respective courts 
demanding immediate action. They suggested a naval Dan of thQ 
demonstration. As both the Russians and Lord Salis- Legations in 
bury saw considerable danger in this suggestion, the e m * 
application was not immediately attended to. Left to themselves, the 
representatives continued to put what pressure they could upon the 
Chinese Government. They procured an edict against the Boxers, but it 
proved entirely ineffective ; at the same time the Empress took a very 
threatening step in the opposite direction by appointing as successor 
to the throne the son of Prince Tuan, the leader of the conservative 
Manchu nobles. As the disturbances continued and spread, and the 
Boxers, apparently working in co-operation with the imperial troops, 
began to gather round Pekin and threatened to cut it off from Tientsin 
from whence alone assistance could be obtained, on the 1st of June a 
small body of guards, consisting of marines of various nationalities, 
was brought up for the defence of the Legations. Tientsin itself was 
now threatened. The Powers began to recognise the critical character 
of the situation ; troops were collected, and on the 10th of June, a most 
urgent telegram having been received at Tientsin, Admiral Seymour 
marched to the relief of the Legations with a mixed force of some 2000 
men. But by this time the enemy opposed to him had so increased in 
strength that he found it impossible to fight his way through ; his 
communications were broken, and he was obliged to withdraw. It was 
not till the 2Gth of June that the relieving force sent out from 
Tientsin to assist him in his retreat was able to bring back the 
admiral and his troops into safety. 

.Meanwhile what was passing in Pekin was absolutely unknown. 
The wildest rumours were afloat of terrible massacres, 
and the deepest anxiety was felt as to the fate of the Legations in 
besieged Legations. It ultimately appeared that the Pekm - 
Europeans, collected chiefly in the British Legation and the surrounding 
buildings, had from the 20th of June been subject to constant artillery 
and rifle fire, and had there defended themselves with splendid bravery 
and endurance until the 16th of July. On that day the bombard- 
ment had been relaxed. But as there was no cessation of the irregular 
filing, and as the siege continued to be closely pressed, there seemed 
every probability of a speedy renewal of the assault. During all 
that time, although troops were being collected as quickly as possible, 
the defenders of Tientsin were not sufficiently numerous to do more 
than defend themselves. It was not until the beginning of August 
that a joint force of adequate strength was collected, and, after some 



sharp fighting, forced its way into Pekin and placed the defenders of 
the Legations in safety. It was none too- soon. The resources of 
the besieged were almost exhausted. The fighting men were few and 
had suffered heavy losses, and though supplies of food were found in 
the shops within the besieged area, and the large number of horses 
afforded the Europeans a plentiful if unappetising diet, the thousands 
of native Christians who had taken refuge in the enclosure around the 
Legations suffered greatly and the infant mortality was terrible. Much 
resourcefulness and much gallantry had been shown by every branch 
of the motley forces of the besieged. A few words from a private 
letter give a vivid picture of the severity of the struggle : " Of course 
the Legation is knocked about beyond recognition. In the building of 
fortifications every available brick has been pulled out and used ; every 
available carpet, curtain, tablecloth, sheet, and pair of trousers have 
long since been made into sandbags, of which I think we must now 
have used about fifteen thousand. Bombproof shelters have been dug 
all over the place. Seventy missionaries are camped in the chapel. 
Families of all nations and races occupy our students' downstairs 
quarters. We have tried to guard against mining by digging a ten-foot 
trench all the way round. During the first days of the siege the 
wretches made the most determined attempts to burn us out, creeping 
up to houses that stood close to our walls and firing them with 
paraffin. They repeated this over and over again, and we had to 
work like very demons with our wretched little hand-pumps to check 
the flames, while the Chinese would keep up a hot fire on us all the 
time from the houses round." The Chinese Government had been 
strangely inconsistent, at one time pressing on the siege with all their 
power, at another time parleying with the besieged, even supplying 
them with a little food, and breaking off the regular bombardment. 
Their conduct is not easy to understand, but it appears to have been 
largely influenced by the course of the fighting around Tientsin, and 
on the whole there is little doubt of their complicity in the outbreak 
and in the siege. 

The relief of the Legations having been successfully carried out by 
Peace negotia- tne combined troops under a German commander, 
tions. Count von Waldersee, international difficulties at once 

arose. Having occupied Pekin, it remained to be decided what the 
army was to do. Was punishment to be exacted for the probable but 
as yet unproved complicity of the Chinese Court ? Or were the armies 
to withdraw, and the matter to fall into the hands of negotiators ? The 
Russians at once proposed the latter step. In forming the joint army 


the Powers had pledged themselves not to acquire territory. The 
maintenance of a Government in Pekin capable of keeping order and 
of insisting upon the Treaties was an object of the first importance, 
especially to England. It was also the accepted policy of England to 
treat with any such sufficient native power without inquiring into its 
antecedents. Yet Lord Salisbury appeared unwilling to accept the 
Russian proposition. So also, and far more strongly, was Germany, 
which circumstances had placed for the time in a very commanding 
position. The murder of the German Minister during the uproar gave 
a good excuse for retaliatory measures. Moreover the allied forces 
had already been placed under the command of a German field- 
marshal. France, on the other hand, adopted the Russian view, while 
Italy ranged itself with Germany. In fact upon this question the 
lines of European friendships were found repeated ; the members 
of the Triple and Dual Alliances appeared, as usual, to advocate 
opposite lines of policy. Such differences of opinion are no doubt 
inevitable when rival nations combine in the face of a' great emer- 
gency to carry out a common line of action. In the present instance 
it was found possible so far to allay the rivalries that the agree- 
ment between the European Powers was not interrupted. Terms 
which could be offered to the Chinese were finally arrived at and accepted 
early in January 1901. The susceptibilities of Germany and of Japan 
were soothed by formal and complete apologies or the death of their 
diplomatic agents. The banishment of Prince Tuan and the execution 
of some of the ringleaders of the late disturbances served as a slight 
satisfaction to the prevailing desire for retaliation. The infliction of a 
large war indemnity, amounting on the whole to about £140,000,000, 
satisfied the somewhat greedy demands of several of the Allies; while 
the promise of commercial advantages, and the apparent maintenance 
of the integrity of the Chinese empire, might be regarded as a reward 
for the self-restraint exhibited by England for the purpose of main- 
taining friendly relations with the Allies. 

In addition to the ever-increasing difficulties which attend colonial 
expansion, and the questions connected with inter- 
national policy, the British Government has on its 
hinds the management of the great Indian dependency. Lord Salis- 
bury's Ministry was not free from anxiety in this direction. 

In a dominion so vast and widespread as that of the British empire 
the policy pursued in any particular country must in- 
evitably be more or less subservient to the general West frontier 
foreign policy of the empire. Nowhere have the * cu ties " 


complications thus introduced been more obvious than on the north- 
west frontier of India. The intricacies of the Eastern question, and 
the relations of Great Britain with Russia and with the Mahomedan 
Powers have constantly to be considered. The disturbed condition of 
the independent tribes occupying the passes, the shifting attitude of 
the Afghan Ameer, and the constantly overshadowing dread of the 
approach of the Russians, has made that portion of India the scene 
not only of many of the most striking episodes in the history of the 
British Army, but also the great battle-field among Indian politicians. 
It is with respect to that portion of India that the policies of expansion 
or concentration, and the advantages of various scientific frontiers, 
have been most hotly discussed. But of late years, although at times 
differing in detail, a definite policy has been adopted, and has been 
handed on unbroken by Ministerial changes at home. 

The independence of Afghanistan and the friendship of the Ameer 
The frontiers of nave been the keynote of this policy. In Abdurah- 
Afgnanistan. man ^ ie English had found a man of great ability. 
Unbiassed by any strong predilection in favour of either of his great 
Christian neighbours, his view of his own interests led him to fall in 
with the policy of the Indian Government. It was by the friendship 
of the English and by their subsidies that he hoped to maintain his 
position against domestic rivals, and to keep back the advancing waves 
of Russian occupation. But this conviction did not prevent him from 
keeping a jealous eye upon the action of his friends, or from using 
from time to time those weapons of intrigue which come so readily to 
the Afghan. In pursuance of their general line of policy, the English 
had thought it necessary to insist upon a careful delimitation of the 
frontiers of Afghanistan. They had been loyally assisted by the 
Ameer in carrying out this work along the northern frontier ; nor was 
much difficulty found upon the side of Persia and in Beluchistan. But 
the marking out of the north-west frontier was a much more compli- 
cated business. No Afghan ruler could forget that the Durani empire 
had once extended beyond the passes to the plain of the Punjab, or 
ignore the opportunities for unavowed opposition to the English advance 
which were offered by the wild tribes of Orakzais, Afridis, and Moh- 
mands, who occupied the mountains, and who, while independent both 
of England and of Afghanistan, could always apply in their difficulties 
for the assistance of the Ameer. The Indian Government had how- 
ever succeeded, in 1893, in inducing Abdurahman to receive Sir 
Mortimer Durand and to sign an agreement with him, marking out 
somewhat roughly a frontier between his own dominions and these 


independent tribes. It was hoped that this delimitation would prevent 
the risk of complications with Afghanistan which had constantly 
attended the efforts to reduce the wild tribesmen to order. 

Meanwhile, beyond the Afghan frontier the English had brought 
Cashmere under their protection, had pushed on as far The siege of 
as Gilgit, covering the passes in the Pamirs, and had chitrai. 
even established some sort of authority over the valley of the upper 
Kunar occupied by the small state of Chitrai. At the beginning of 1895 
the English survey officers were employed under the escort of the 
Commander-in-Chief of the Afghan army, in marking out the boundary 
between Chitrai and Afghanistan, when they were informed that higher 
up the valley, the little English garrison in the fort of Chitrai was 
besieged, and, quite cut off from external communications, was 
anxiously awaiting relief. Taking advantage of a disputed succession 
in Chitrai, Umra Khan, an Afghan freebooter who had established 
himself in the neighbourhood, had moved suddenly upon the fort and 
had surrounded it. As Abdurahman was known to be aiming at the 
possession of this valley from which he had already once ejected 
Umra Khan, the strong step taken by that chieftain in the very 
presence of the Afghan army, and the skill and energy with which 
the siege was pressed, raised suspicions as to the Ameer's honesty 
which were never thoroughly removed. The siege afforded another 
opportunity for one of those exhibitions of personal bravery and un- 
flinching tenacity of which the annals of the north-west frontier are 
full, and gave another proof, if proof was wanted, of the value of well- 
Led native troops. Under Mr. Robertson, the English agent, the little 
garrison, composed of Sikhs and imperial levies from Cashmere, held 
out for forty-six days in the ill-constructed fort. The enemy, numerous 
and well armed, was fully supplied with fascines and other material 
fur forming shelters. The towers of the fort were of wood, and liable 
to be easily set on lire. Trees and buildings closely surrounded the 
fort, and enabled the besiegers to approach close to the walls and 
even to tire through the loopholes. The garrison throughout the siege 
was on half rations. Several vigorous assaults were repulsed; more 
than once the enemy set lire to the towers, which were only saved 
with great difficulty; and finally, when a mine was run close to the 
walls and almost ready for explosion, it was destroyed by a gallant sally 
of the Sikhs headed by Lieutenant Harley. It was the last effort of the 
enemy. Three days later, on the 20th of April, it was known that 
the besiegers had retired. A force under Colonel Kelly had pushed 
its way over the snowy passes from Gilgit and approached from the 


north ; while Sir Robert Low and General Gatacre, with troops hastily 
collected at Peshawur, had crossed the mountain ridges and entered the 
valley from the south. The relief of the garrison was thus secured. 

Masters of the Chitral Valle}', the English were now called upon 
Decision to to decide on the course to be adopted for the future, 

occupy cnitrai. The Liberal Ministry were at the time in office. In 
their opinion the right course was to retire from the conquered valley ; 
for not only should the policy of England be one rather of concentra- 
tion than of advance, but there were other reasons which rendered 
retirement desirable. Russia, with whom frontier settlements had 
been only lately completed, might not unreasonably take umbrage 
at the occupation of Chitral. Moreover, in order to induce the tribes 
to allow the passage of British troops to the relief of the fort, a 
proclamation had been issued, declaring that it was not the intention 
of England to acquire fresh territory ; and it was a grave question 
whether the national honour would allow of anything short of 
immediate withdrawal in the face of such a proclamation. But before 
effect could be given to this view, the change of Government occurred ; 
and Lord Salisbury's administration, regarding a retirement as likely 
to be injurious to British prestige, determined to continue the occupa- 
tion of the valley. A road was ordered to be made so as to allow of 
the rapid advance of troops if necessary, and a considerable force was 
established at Malakand. 

Not much more than a year elapsed before the whole frontier was 
_ .. : in a wild state of excitement. The causes of this 


among the excitement were no doubt very various. The marking 

out of the boundary between the frontier tribes and 
Afghanistan, in pursuance of the arrangements of the Durand Treaty, 
had been nearly completed. But the object of the frontier delimita- 
tions was not unnaturally misunderstood ; it appeared to the wild 
and independent mountaineers to be a British and not an Afghan 
boundary which was being settled. That the object was to secure 
them from Afghan interference was not so clear to their minds as the 
intention at all events to separate them from Afghan assistance. 
Thus, already trembling for their independence, the apparent breach 
of faith in the establishment of the Chitral road could not but be 
regarded by them as an insidious step on the part of the British, and 
full of threatening import. But added to these causes, and perhaps in 
fact even more influential, was a formidable religious movement. It 
was not long since the Armenian massacres had occurred ; Europe had 
intervened, and yet the Sultan remained unharmed. The Christian 


armies of Greece had been overwhelmed by the Turkish troops. 
The Ameer, calling himself the King of Islam, had assumed the 
position of one of the great heads of Mohammedanism ; and everywhere 
the Mullahs were preaching enthusiastically a holy war. It seemed 
as if on all sides the power of Islam was rising. 

Fortunately there was no great cohesion among the tribes. - They 
broke out one after the other in isolated insurrections, various out- 
In the Tochi Valley a treacherous attack was made S^cntiS 11 * 
upon Mr. Gee, a political agent, in which he and tribes, 
several officers were killed (June 1897), although the splendid bravery 
of a detachment of Sikh troops who formed his escort averted a 
complete disaster. A punitive expedition was sent into the country, 
but met with no great success. The next scene of disturbance was 
the Swat Valley lying between Chitral and Peshawur. The tribesmen, 
excited to enthusiasm by their religious leaders, assaulted the position 
of Malakand with extraordinary courage (July 26), and were only 
driven back with great difficulty and heavy loss of life. Again a 
punitive expedition was necessary. General Binden Blood, with 8000 
troops, was sent into the valley. But the hostile tide was only par- 
tially checked. The Mohmands, who covered the high road to 
Peshawar to the north of the Kyber Pass, were the next to rise, and 
were followed almost immediately by the Afridis, who occupied the 
Pass itself, and who received allowances for keeping it open, and by 
the Orakzais, who covered it to the south. The Afridis began by 
assaulting the fort of Lundi Kotal, garrisoned by the Kyber Rifles, 
who, though themselves Afridis, offered a gallant but unavailing 
resistance to the attack. The inability of the English to advance at 
once and clear the pass encouraged the Orakzais, who in their turn 
assaulted some lately erected forts on the Samana ridge. The heroic 
bravery and fidelity of the Indian troops was illustrated by the self- 
sacrifice of a few soldiers of the 36th Sikh regiment who continued to 
held a fort, to which the enemy had set fire, until the last man had 
perished in the flames. 

So general a burst of fanatical hostility required immediate attention, 
and a body of 60,000 men under Sir William Lockhart TheTirah 
was assembled to push its way into the Tirah district, campaign. 
It met with the most determined resistance. Pass after pass had to 
be forced with great difficulty and great loss of life. The Orakzais 
country was first overrun; and then the troops entered upon the 
Afridi Tirah. The defence assumed the character which has always 
attended the entrance of organised armies into wild mountainous 


districts. It is admirably described by Sir Hnngerford Holdicb, the 
surveying officer of the force. " Neither by night nor by day 
would the enemy trust themselves to open resistance or solid attack, 
but by day they could watch from their nests above the valley the 
scattered threads of transport moving in lines for foraging purposes, 
the little band of scouts covering the survey party that was making 
its way slowly up the hillside, working comfortably to within their 
range ; or they could hang about the cliffs and woods whilst an 
advance in force was in progress, ready to mass themselves with 
most surprising rapidity on any luckless party that might get 
involved in the spider-web of nullahs. There was not an army. 1 
doubt whether on any occasion their numbers could be counted into 
thousands. Certainly no British officer ever counted them. But 
this small brigade of bandits owed quite as much of their extra- 
ordinary mobility to the fewness of their numbers as to their loose 
organisation and mountaineering instincts. They simply played 
around the British force, and with the facilities that they possessed 
of attaining safe cover when too hard pressed, the hunting of them 
with an army of two divisions was not unlike hunting rabbits with a 
pack of foxhounds. And yet it is difficult to see how a smaller force 
could have played havoc with their country, and kept open a line 
of communications. It was much the same to us whether there were 
50,000 or 5000. At all points was it necessary to be prepared for 
attack." Late events in South Africa have shown with what effect 
this form of warfare can be employed by a brave people. No doubt 
the power of Great Britain was exhibited and the hopelessness of 
prolonged resistance proved, as the British armies forced their way 
into ■ every valley of importance. But there was little of the halo of 
victory around the troops as, still subjected to harassing attacks, 
they made their way down the passes on their return to India. While 
the army was in the Maidan Valley, the terms offered by Govern- 
ment had been declared. Fines were to be levied, arms to be 
surrendered, and all Government property to be restored. Great 
deputations both of the Orakzais and the Afridis listened to the 
declaration with some show of submission. As the Afridis proved 
subsequently to be still recalcitrant, many of their villages and towers 
were destroyed. But in spite of this the terms were still unaccepted 
when the troops, with a loss of more than 400 killed and 1300 wounded, 
returned to Peshawur. It was not till October in the following year, 
1898, that opposition ceased ; the arms were given up, the fines were 
paid, and the Kyber Pass was reopened. 


Jt was not alone with war that the Government had to contend; 
in 1897, and again in 1900, famines of the most terrible Famines and 
character wasted vast regions of India, while in the plague, 
former year a fearful outbreak of plague occurred in the Bombay 
Presidency, in which no less than 12,000 lives were lost. In both 
cases the Government undertook the responsibility of attempting to 
check the disaster and as far as possible to keep the people alive. The 
famine was unusually widespread. In the Central Provinces, in much 
of the Bombay and Madras Presidencies, in nearly the whole of the 
North- West Provinces, and over large areas in the Punjab, and in the 
native States, it was found necessary to undertake relief measures. 
More than £500,000 was collected in England to assist in the charitable 
work, which, carried out according to fixed rules dictated by previous 
experience, met with some degree of success. In June 1897 there 
were upwards of 4,000,000 people employed on Government relief 
works ; and even after the first rains had fallen in August, as many 
as 3,000,000 were still being fed. The rulers of many of the native 
States followed the English example, and worked well for the preser- 
vation of their people. The second famine was even worse than the 
first. It was combated with even greater energy, and with perhaps 
greater success. A careful report had been drawn up of all that 
had happened in 1897, and further elaborate rules had been formulated. 
But no energy or wise use of experience was sufficient to prevent 
the recurrence of the terrible disaster. The conditions of life were 
6iich that the slightest failure in the crops inevitably produced famine, 
and a close examination showed that these conditions were not 
improving. The number of people living upon the barest necessities 
of life, on the verge of starvation, was found to be increasing rather 
than diminishing. The risk of famine remains ever present. 

Magnificent though the work of English administrators was both in 
the plague and in the famines, it did not meet with signs of dis- 
universal gratitude. The very measures taken to affection. 
alleviate the terrible scourges brought into prominence the ever- 
recurrent danger of disaffection which besets the British rule in India, 
and emphasised the line which divides the civilisation of the rulers 
and the ruled. The stringency of the sanitary measures adopted to 
check the plague, not perhaps always carried out, in the midst of 
the crying necessity for haste, with due regard for the sensitive 
prejudices of the people, produced an outbreak in Poona, in which two 
English officials lost their lives. The general tone of the native press 
became violent and aggressive. The danger seemed so great that 


repressive legislation was thought necessary. Aided by the return of 
more prosperous seasons, this measure allayed at all events the 
outward expression of discontent. 

In December 1898 Lord Elgin was succeeded in the Viceroyalty by 
_ a „ , Lord Curzon. The energetic administration of India 

Lord Curzon s ° 

commercial does not depend much upon the political bias of its ruler. 

Two measures however were taken by Lord Curzon 
which could scarcely have been possible had a Liberal Ministry been 
in power. They were indeed of a somewhat speculative character, 
but are said to have proved successful in their working. One 
of these measures it was hoped might put an end to a constantly 
increasing evil. The instability of the price of silver, its unchecked 
depreciation, and the consequent fall in the rate of exchange between 
India and England, entailed heavy losses upon the Government itself 
and upon all who drew their wealth, whether as pensioners or as com- 
mercial men, from India. It was determined to introduce a gold 
currency, of which the English sovereign should be the standard, and 
to settle permanently the value of the rupee at Is. Ad. The second 
measure, also connected with commerce, was the imposition of a 
countervailing duty on imported bounty-fed sugar. It was primarily 
in the interests of the Indian sugar industry, which was running the 
risk of being driven from the market by the importation of cheap 
European sugar. But in the second place it foreshadowed a policy to 
which effect was subsequently given by the Government in England, 
and which met with the hearty support of the Colonial Secretary, who 
was already mistrusting the doctrines of free- trade, and eager to 
adopt any plan which he thought Would afford relief to the disastrous 
depression of the West India Islands. As a matter of fact it is by 
no means certain whether any advantage has attended this policy, 
which in appearance was somewhat retrograde. 

In the light of subsequent events, of all the questions which occu- 
Tne Jameson pied the attention of the new Ministry by far the most 
Raid - important were those connected with South Africa. 

The complicated difficulties of the situation seemed to have reached 
a climax when the news was received in England that on December 30, 
1895, Dr. Jameson, the Administrator of Mashonaland, had crossed 
the western frontier of the Transvaal with a body of troops to support 
the malcontents of Johannesburg. 

There was nothing new in the strained relations between England 
origin of the an ^ tne Boers. The retrocession of the Transvaal by 
difficulty. ^| r _ Gladstone in 1881 was largely regarded in England 

18951 SOUTH AFRICA 235 

as an act of magnanimity ; but certainly side by side with the highly 
conscientious motive moving the Ministry, there ran one almost as 
powerful of a more political character. The whole history of the 
British possession of South Africa led inevitably to difficulties appa- 
rently irremediable. The Dutch colony had been handed over without 
its consent to a foreign dominion ; this mere fact planted a permanent 
root of discontent among the old inhabitants. The influx of British 
colonists had never been sufficient to place the new possessors in a 
numerical majority. The gift of self-government had given effect to 
this inequality of numbers, and, except in Natal, the majority of the 
voters were still men of Dutch extraction, the larger portion of the 
territory was still in Dutch hands. Under such circumstances it was 
inevitable that a widespread feeling of racial rivalry, not only in the 
purely Dutch States, but in the colony of Cape Town itself, should have 
arisen and continued. It was not in the nature of things that the 
Dutch Africanders should feol strongly the ties of loyalty to a mother 
country which was to them not a mother country. Nor had the 
treatment they had received been such as to strengthen their attach- 
ment. The varying waves of colonial policy which had swept over 
England had created among them a deep feeling of the uncertainty 
and weakness of the imperial rule ; the want of a firm and well- 
marked line of political action was not conducive to a contented 
reliance upon the imperial power. 

The annexation of the Transvaal had been a bitter shock to Dutch 
feeling, not only in the Republic itself but also in Cape Restoration of 
Colony ; its restoration was almost a matter of neces- Transvaal, 
sity in face of the hostility it had excited. But whether magnanimous 
or political, it had won no gratitude ; the restrictions contained in the 
Convention of Pretoria robbed it in the eyes of the Boers of most of 
its value. At best it was regarded as a step towards that complete 
independence which the Transvaalers had in view, and which, as they 
believed, had been granted them by the Sand River Convention of 
1852. It was not only the natural discontent of a people under an 
alien supremacy which made the cleavage between the races. The 
difference of their political ideals was so great, that the high-flown 
language frequently used in connection with this subject, the assertion 
that the contest was between two different forms of civilisation, is 
scarcely exaggerated. The Dutch farmers, in their isolated lives 
brought into contact only with inferior races, and deeply imbued with 
the religious views of a past century, regarded themselves as a chosen 
people, and in using the word "Republic" used it as a man of the ancient 


or the medieval world might have used it. In their lips it was another 
word for an Oligarchy, and implied equality of rights among a strictly 
limited class. The strong democratic sentiment which had taken pos- 
session of England was wholly alien to them; the notion of equal 
rights, even among all the white inhabitants, much less among all 
men whether black or white, was quite beyond their sphere of thought. 
The stronghold of this feeling of superiority was the Transvaal, which 
owed its very existence to the action of men who refused to be 
subject, and who had given up their old position for the express purpose 
of maintaining their independence and traditional habits. It is not 
wonderful that there should have arisen among them a belief that the 
Transvaal, peopled so largely by the Dutch, treated with so wavering 
a policy by its present holders, and regarded apparently as valuable 
only in its relation to the more favoured land of India, would sooner 
or later become an independent State. Meanwhile their dislike of 
the Englishman, with his democratic ways, his business habits, his 
pursuit of wealth, and his claim to stand as protector of the native 
races, was very strong, and was mingled with some degree of con- 
tempt. It is only by understanding the circumstances and the hopes 
of the Dutch Africanders, and by recognising their concentration in 
the Transvaal, that South African questions can be rightly interpreted. 
The Convention of London in 1884, with the circumstances which 
The conven- led t° ft, was n °t calculated either to still the ambition 
tionofi884. f the Boers or to satisfy their hopes. While restric- 
tions were still maintained which were inconsistent with complete 
independence, the people of the Transvaal, citizens henceforward of the 
South African Kepublic, had been allowed to assume a title which 
might easily convey to their minds a high idea of their importance. 
They received the Convention almost avowedly only as a fresh step 
forward towards independence and the occupation of a paramount 
position in South Africa. " It required constant watchfulness and an 
attitude of considerable firmness to thwart their repeated efforts to 
break free from restraint. They were continually attempting to set 
aside the strict limits which had been set to the Transvaal State. 
In 1882 and 1883 they had only been prevented from securing new 
territory in the West by the appearance of Sir Charles Warren with 
a considerable force, and the absorption of the disputed territory into 
the British Colony of Bechuanaland. In 1884 their attempt to secure 
an outlet upon the sea, and the appropriation of Zululand, was only 
prevented by the annexation of that part of the coast-line by Lord 
Eipon. When in 1889 the Chartered Company was formed to occupy 


Mashonaland, there was every chance that the Company would have 
been forestalled by a rush of Transvaal farmers ; the movement was 
only checked by the presence of an armed force upon the frontier. 
But an entirely new complexion was given to their action when the 
discovery of gold at Johannesburg suddenly changed The d i SCO very 
the Transvaal into the financial centre of South Africa, of sold. 
and seemed to give some prospect of the ultimate realisation of their 
dream of supremacy. Yet it was this very discovery which proved 
the cause of their ruin. The knowledge of the presence of gold in 
the neighbourhood of Johannesburg produced as a matter of course 
an immediate influx of miners and of speculators, largely of English 
nationality. The unfitness of the political views of the Boers to meet 
the exigencies of a modern progressive society at once became 
apparent. Instead of welcoming and absorbing the new-comers, they 
merely tolerated their presence for the purpose of using them as a 
means of adding to the wealth and power of the Burgher Oligarchy. 
Year by year they put fresh obstacles in the way of naturalisation, 
a longer time of residence being again and again required. 

The " Outianders," as the new-comers were called, were thus 
excluded from every vestige of share in political oppression of 
power, while in numbers they before long surpassed the Outianders. 
the older inhabitants of Johannesburg, and bore by far the larger share 
of the taxation. In addition to these grievances, they were called 
upon for military service, the one thing which above all others they 
regarded as implying of necessity the rights of citizenship. It was not 
to be expected that a large body of Englishmen would submit quietly to 
this treatment. Agitation for reforms soon began, and grew so strong 
that in 1894 Lord Loch, the High Commissioner, found it necessary to 
visit President Kroger at Pretoria. Matters were at the moment in such 
a critical condition, that at the earnest desire of the President he for- 
bore to proceed to Johannesburg lest an outbreak should be the con- 
sequence. He contented himself with receiving a deputation from the 
outianders, and with attempting to restrain them while fully acknow- 
ledging the reality of their grievances. They had naturally expected 
some immediate improvement in their position when they had thus 
formally laid their case before the Commissioner, and observed his 
sympathetic reception of it. But although Lord Loch had gravely 
warned Mr. Kruger of the risk he was running, his words produced 
no result except that the Boer Government seems at once to have 
begun to think of supplying itself with arms and the materials of war, 
and to contemplate with complacency a struggle with England. 


Foiled in his desire to increase the limits of his State, the President 
proceeded to take steps to secure his financial independence. The 
Netherlands Railway Company, which had been materially helped by 
the wealth of Cape Colony and had entered into a contract for certain 
low terms of carriage as some sort of recompense, no sooner reached 
the conclusion of this contract than it raised its terms till they became 
almost prohibitive. Rather than pay them the Cape Town traders sent 
their goods by wagon across the Vaal river at certain fords or drifts, 
using the railway only through the Orange State. Mr. Kruger 
The drifts attempted to complete the exclusion of British trade 

question. by closing the drifts. He was determined that all the 

commerce of the Republic should pass through the northern railway 
and Delagoa Bay. So great was the anger aroused by this action, 
which took place in the latter part of 1895, that Mr. Chamberlain was 
compelled to address to the Boer Government what was practically 
an ultimatum. It was for the moment successful. But the incident 
gives clear proof of the continuous and determined hostility to the 
English which existed in the mind of Mr. Kruger. Unable to procure 
redress for themselves, aware of the strained relations existing with 
the Home Government, smarting bitterly under the slight forced upon 
them by their inferior position, the outlanders, or some of them at 
least, were thinking of something more than mere constitutional action. 
A revolution, if necessary a forcible revolution, was undoubtedly being 

The whole of South Africa was at this time under the influence of 
Mr Cecil the remarkable personality of Mr. Cecil Rhodes. A 

Rhodes. man of vast wealth acquired by his great business 

capacities, and with broad imperialist views, he was now Acting-Director 
of the Chartered Company which ruled Mashonaland, the creation prac- 
tically of his own genius. He was chairman of the greatest com- 
mercial enterprise in South Africa, the De Beer mines at Kimberley, 
and Premier of Cape Colony. He owed this position to the skill with 
which he had succeeded in securing the suppoit not only of the 
English but of the Dutch Africanders. The union of South Africa 
under one supreme government was his political object, and he desired 
that the supreme government should be British. In every respect 
he was the exact antithesis of the President of the South African 
Republic ; while the one supported the interests of a small aristo- 
cratic oligarchy, the other was the avowed champion of democratic 
progress. It was the establishment of the Chartered Company in 
Mashonaland which had checked the expansion of the Transvaal ; it 


was the influence of Mr. Rhodes which seemed to be drawing even 
the Dutch inhabitants of Cape Colony to the loyal acceptance of the 
British flag. Not unnaturally he was regarded by Mr. Kruger as his 
most dangerous enemy. His brother, Colonel Frank Rhodes, who 
acted as his agent, was among the more prominent reformers in 
Johannesburg. It was impossible that the grievances of the outlanders 
there should escape the notice of Mr. Cecil Rhodes. He must have 
been well acquainted with the movement which it was hoped might 
remove the chief obstruction to the realisation of his political views. 
It may be said with some certainty that there was an understanding 
that when the right hour arrived, the reformers of Johannesburg 
would receive armed assistance from their fellow-countrymen in 
Mashonaland. With this view, though ostensibly for the purpose 
of taking over a portion of Bechuanaland (a step rendered necessary 
by the progress of the railway from the Cape to Bulawayo), a handful 
of troops, police and volunteers, had been assembled at Pitsani, close 
to the western frontier of the Transvaal, under the command of Dr. 
Jameson, Administrator of Mashonaland. 

The reformers in Johannesburg were not skilful conspirators. A 
day had been fixed for the rising ; and Dr. Jameson The j am eson 
had been supplied with a letter (which he was to Raid - 
produce when occasion required it), alleging that the lives of the 
women and children in Johannesburg were in danger, and summoning 
him to their immediate assistance. But a difference of opinion arose 
among the leaders of the Outlanders as to what flag was to be 
raised if they were successful in their outbreak, and the day for 
the rising was indefinitely postponed while this question was being 
decided. Mr. Rhodes, wishing to wait until the opportunity was 
fully ripe, consented to the postponement, and sent a warning to 
Dr. Jameson, who however preferred to act upon his own judgment, 
^'ithout a direct summons from the reformers, in fact in opposition 
to their known wishes, he persisted in crossing the frontier upon the 
day originally fixed (December 30, 1895). News of the Raid almost 
immediately reached England, where it was received at first with 
enthusiasm. For the Times had already published the false letter of 
appeal for help, with which Dr. Jameson had been supplied ; and it was 
as the heroic rescuer cf English women and children from the grasp of 
brutal enemies that the leader of the ill-judged invasion was for the 
moment regarded. The disappointment which attended the miserable 
fiasco was proportionately great. Dr. Jameson, although messengers 
from the High Commissioner ordering his instant return had reached 


him, and although he received no news of movement at Johannesburg, 
had insisted on pushing forward. He did not even pursue this head- 
strong course successfully. Having reached Krugersdorp, instead of 
marching direct to Johannesburg while the road was still open, he 
allowed his men to halt and sleep. They awoke to find the neigh- 
bouring hills occupied by the Boer commandos in positions too strong 
to be assailed with success. After a sharp skirmish Dr. Jameson and 
his party, unable to move forward and exposed on all sides to deadly 
rifle fire, were forced to surrender, upon a vague or perhaps misunder- 
stood promise that their lives should be spared. 

Taken by itself, the Raid was of little importance. A futile and 
Effect of the badly managed conspiracy, an ill-judged and unsuc- 
Raid. cessful filibustering expedition, would scarcely be 

worthy of notice. But in the then existing relations between England 
and the Transvaal, its results could not fail to be far-reaching. Although 
Mr. Chamberlain took instant measures to check and repudiate Dr. 
Jameson's action, the suspicion that the Home Government had been 
cognisant of it took firm hold of the mind of Mr. Kruger and his advisers. 
From this time onwards their hostility to the paramount power and their 
determination to rid themselves of it at the first opportunity became 
fixed. On the other hand the Raid struck Mr. Chamberlain's weapon 
from his hand. It was impossible in the face of this act of violence to 
press at once for constitutional changes or to vindicate a course of 
constitutional opposition which seemed so certainly to lead to open 
rebellion. The behaviour of Mr. Kruger was at the time restrained 
and dignified. He gave up the captured raiders to be tried by the 
English; and when sentence of death was passed upon certain of 
the outlanders, he commuted it, chiefly for money payments. The 
leaders of the Raid were tried in England under the Foreign Enlist- 
ment Act, found guilty and sentenced to various not very long terms 
of imprisonment. But the real step imperatively called for by such 
circumstances was not taken. 

The one thing necessary was an immediate and searching inquiry 
The committee m or(ier to clear tlie Government from all possible 
of inquiry. suspicion. But the Select Committee of Inquiry 

appointed by Parliament did not meet until the close of the session 
of 1896, nor make its report till July 1897, eighteen months after 
the Raid. Nor when the report appeared was it satisfactory ; certain 
things which should have been examined were omitted, certain 
telegrams which should have been seen were kept back. There 
seemed to the ordinary looker-on to be an effort to throw a cloak 


oyer something it was not clear what, which the leaders of both 
parties in England desired to keep from publicity. Enough was 
produced to show that whatever may have been the case with 
respect to the Colonial Office in London, there was ample ground for 
the suspicious attitude of the Boer leaders. It was made certain that 
Mr. Rhodes had used his great power both commercial and political 
in support of the conspiracy, and that although the High Commissioner 
had been carefully kept in the dark, his secretary and the chief British 
official at Pitsani had been informed of what was going on. Even 
with respect to Mr. Chamberlain himself there was a sharp conflict of 
evidence, the recollections of one of the witnesses, Dr. Rutherford 
Harris, being entirely at variance with those of the officials of the 
Colonial Office. As the sanguine credulity of conspirators is well 
known, it is probable that Dr. Harris was wrong when he expressed 
what was undoubtedly his opinion at the time, that " the Colonial 
Office was in it." Still the actual revelations at the inquiry, coupled 
with the immunity of Mr. Rhodes from all punishment, the public 
declaration of Mr. Chamberlain that " there was no stain on the per- 
sonal honour of Mr. Rhodes," and the very slight sentences which 
were inflicted on the raiders, were quite sufficient to establish an 
ineradicable mistrust in the minds of a race naturally inclined to sus- 
picion and prejudice. 

Moreover, while avoiding the one step which might have removed 
this bad impression, and while certainly treating the _ . _ . , 

r '. f .° Chamberlain's 

leaders of the conspiracy with extraordinary leniency, despatch, Feb. 
Mr. Chamberlain did not cease his efforts to remove 
the grievances of the outlanders, in a manner which could not but 
be most irritating to President Kruger. Before the meeting of Par- 
liament in February 189G he wrote an elaborate despatch, setting 
out afresh the claims of the British Government on behalf of the 
Johannesburgers, recapitulating all the outlanders' grievances, and 
recommending a plan for the separate municipal government of 
Johannesburg if it was found impossible to give the outlanders a 
satisfactory franchise. With the irritation inevitably caused by so 
gross an insult to his authority as the Raid, Mr. Kruger might well 
n rnted such a despatch even had it been conveyed to him 
privately. His indignation can be well understood when he found 
that it had been published in England before it had been delivered 
to himself. It conveyed among other things a suggestion that 
Mr. Kruger should come to England to talk matters over. In his 
reply, after justifiably rebuking Mr. Chamberlain for his " new 



diplomacy," he declined the suggestion unless the points to be discussed 
included the famous 4th section of the Convention of London, 1884, in 
other words unless he was allowed to re-open the whole question of 

For awhile it appeared that a deadlock had been reached. And 
for the moment the attention of Government was 
rising, March directed to a side issue of the Raid, the outbreak in 
Matabeleland. The withdrawal of the troops and 
police for the purpose of the Raid had afforded an opportunity for a rising 
of the natives. The removal of military authority from the Chartered 
Company and its assumption by the imperial Government which had 
been thought necessary had created some temporary confusion. The 
Matabele tribes took advantage of the moment ; massacres of the 
English settlers occurred in various parts of the country, and a 
general insurrection broke out. Sir Frederick Carrington and Colonel 
Plumer after much difficult fighting succeeded in getting the upper 
hand ; but the natives were still unconquered in the recesses of the 
Matoppo Hills behind Bulawayo. Whatever may have been his 
mistakes, the courage and personal ascendancy of Mr. Rhodes were 
signally proved at this crisis. With two or three comrades only, and 
unarmed, he ventured into the fastnesses of the natives, summoned the 
chiefs to meet him, and by his personal influence induced them to put 
an end to the war and to accept reasonable terms (August 20, 1896). 

Meanwhile, if the position of Mr. Chamberlain had been weakened 
Kruger's ^y the Raid, that of Mr. Kruger had been propor- 

position. tionably strengthened. But instead of seizing the 

opportunity to carry out such comparatively slight measures of 
reform as might have satisfied the hopes of the depressed com- 
munity at Johannesburg, he preferred to follow a policy of aggression. 
His determination to vindicate the position of the Transvaal as 
an independent international State became hardened. After his 
re-election to the Presidency in the spring of 1896, he entirely 
disregarded the vague promises to " forget and forgive," which he had 
made (January 10) when the memory of the Raid was still fresh. 
In flagrant contravention of the 1884 treaty, laws were parsed 
changing the position of aliens considerably for the worse, while 
several treaties were contracted with foreign Powers without the 
sanction of the English Crown. The mining and commercial popu- 
lation were harassed by still larger taxation, a profound corruption 
reigned unchecked in every branch of the administration. All this 
was the more aggravating because Mr. Kruger had himself caused the 


Volksraad to appoint an Industrial Committee to inquire into and 
remedy the grievances of the miners, and when its report proved un- 
favourable to his wishes, had succeeded in rendering it entirely nuga- 
tory. And all this time he continued steadily to pursue the one greal 
object he had set before him. lie sent missions to Europe in order to 
win the interest of foreign Powers. He made a treaty with the Orange 
Free State, with which England had no sort of quarrel, pledging that 
Siate to throw in its lot with the Transvaal. Intrigues with the Dutch 
in Cape Colony welded the interest of the Dutch race into one. Vast 
sums spent on munitions of war prepared the way for the ousting of 
British influence and for the establishment of a Dutch South African 

For nearly two years the English Government contented itself with 
diplomatic protests against the infringement of the chamberlain's 
Convention. But towards the end of 1897 Mr. P rote st. 
Chamberlain seems to have thought that the partial paralysis 
caused by the Raid had lasted long enough. The President of the 
Transvaal had demanded foreign arbitration with respect to the 
Convention, thereby implicitly assuming the international status of his 
country. To this, on the 16th of October, Mr. Chamberlain replied in 
a long despatch, in which he raised to its full value the British claim 
of suzerainty, declared that it was still an integral part of the London 
Convention, and that not even in the matter of arbitration could 
Great Britain allow of foreign interference. 

Already, in the preceding May, an important change had been made 
by the appointment of Sir Alfred Milner to the post of . 

tt- l ^ • • • xi 1 c t i t> i Appointment 

High Commissioner in the place ot Lord Rosmead of sir Alfred 
(Sir Hercules Robinson). The outgoing Commissioner Mllner - 
had been in office during the Raid, he had been tricked and deceived 
by the conspirators, had sympathised with the irritation of President 
Kroger, and had practically refused to carry out certain high-handed 
suggestions of the Colonial Office which he regarded as vitiated by 
the conduct of the raiders. If there had been a lull in active 
diplomacy, it was probably due to his persuasions. He withdrew on 
the plea of ill-health, and Sir Alfred Milner, a much younger man, of 
high academic reputation which had been justified by his success fid 
work in Egypt, and who was now holding the important post of 
Chairman of the Board of Inland Revenue, was selected to succeed 
him. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that the renewed activity 
of the Colonial Office was largely due to the very definite views which 
the examination of the affairs of South Africa raised in the mind of the 


new-comer. They were not formed hurriedly. Sir Alfred Milner 
pursued his study of the problem before him with careful industry, even 
learning the Dutch language for the purpose of acquiring his knowledge 
first hand. In March 1898, when he had arrived at a sufficiently 
distinct conclusion, he publicly urged upon the Dutch in Cape Colony 
the duty of using their influence to obtain reforms in the Transvaal, 
and to remove the wholly ungrounded suspicion that England had 
hostile designs upon that country. He pleaded in vain. 

The Government of the Transvaal continued its course, the 
The grievances grievances of the people of Johannesburg grew heavier 
continue. an( j heavier. Unquestionably the agitation, which 

naturally resulted from oppression, like other political agitations was 
aggravated by exaggeration. Unquestionably it was kept up and 
increased by the support of rich men from outside. But the grievances 
were very real, and the outlanders were not, as was frequently 
asserted, a mere body of reckless speculators, but in large proportion 
were men who intended to be resident citizens of the State, and who 
proved by their subsequent conduct during the war that they were 
possessed of sterling qualities. The death of a man of the name of 
Edgar, who was pistoled apparently unnecessarily in the presence of his 
wife by a Transvaal policeman as he was arresting him, afforded 
the opportunity for a decisive step. The grievances were now formu- 
lated in a great petition addressed to the Queen, signed by nearly 22,000 
of the inhabitants, begging for the intervention of the British Govern- 
ment. The petition, which received the support of large numbers of 
British subjects in other parts of the colony, reached the Colonial Office 
on April 14, 1899. It set forth at length the oppression to which the 
inhabitants of the Rand had been subject since 1895, the deprivation 
of all political rights, the heavy taxation, the misapplication of the 
revenue, the maladministration and peculation, the impossible con- 
ditions to which the education of the outlander children was subjected, 
the inadequacy and recklessness of the police. To this was added 
the restraint put upon the "inherent and inalienable birthright of 
every British subject, his right to petition his sovereign." On these 
grounds the petitioners besought her Majesty's protection, and begged 
that inquiry might be made and measures taken " to insure the speedy 
reform of the abuses complained of," and to obtain substantial 
guarantees from the Transvaal Government for the recognition of 
their rights as British subjects. 

Mr. Chamberlain issued his reply on the 10th of May. He had mean- 
while received by telegraph a long, important and decisive despatch 


from the High Commissioner. In it Sir Alfred Milner declared that the 
case for intervention was overwhelming. The policy of chamberlain's 
leaving things alone had been tried for years and had **&*> 
only led to their going from bad to worse. This, he said, was not owing 
to the Raid. " They were going from bad to worse before the Raid. 
We were on the verge of war before the Raid, and the Transvaal was on 
the verge of revolution. The effect of the Raid had been to give the 
policy of leaving things alone a new lease of life and with the old 
consequences." The advice of the High Commissioner, confirming as 
it did his former convictions, removed all doubt from the mind of the 
Colonial Minister. He determined to intervene and to intervene firmly. 
It is plain after the event that war was the necessary consequence. 
But the Government still hoped that strong pressure might induce 
Mr. Kruger to yield. After expressing a desire " to maintain 
cordial relations with the South African Republic," they urged that 
a meeting should be arranged "for the purpose of discussing the 
situation in a conciliatory spirit, in the hope of arriving at such an 
arrangement as her Majesty's Government could accept and recom- 
mend to the Outlander population as a reasonable concession to their 
jnst demands." 

On the 31st of May a Conference was opened at Bloemfontein between 
President Kruger and Sir Alfred Milner. It is unneces- -Lore, Miiner's 
sary to follow the negotiations closely. The concluding despatch, 
passages of Sir Alfred Milner's despatch clearly show the real point 
at issue both at this time and when war supervened, and the only step 
which he thought might possibly avert it. " The spectacle of thousands 
of British subjects kept permanently in the position of helots, constantly 
chafing under undoubted grievances, and calling vainly to her Majesty's 
Government for redress, does steadily undermine the influence and 
reputation of Great Britain and the respect for the British Government 
within the Queen's dominions. A certain section of the press, not in 
the Transvaal only, preaches openly and constantly the doctrine of a 
Republic embracing all South Africa, and supports it by menacing 
references to the armaments of the Transvaal, its alliance with the 
Orange Free State, and the active sympathy which in the case of war 
it would receive from a section of her Majesty's subjects. I regret to 
say that this doctrine, supported as it is by a ceaseless stream of 
malignant lies about the intentions of the British Government, is 
producing a great effect upon a large number of our Dutch fellow- 
colonists. Language is frequently used which seems to imply that 
the Dutch have some superior right even in this colony to their 


fellow-citizens of British birth. Thousands of men peaceably disposed, 
and, if let alone, perfectly satisfied with their position as British subjects, 
are being drawn into disaffection, and there is a corresponding exaspera- 
tion on the side of the British. I can see nothing which will put a stop 
to this mischievous propaganda but some striking proof of the intention 
of her Majesty's Government not to be ousted from its position in South 
Africa. And the best proof alike of its power and its justice would be 
to obtain for the Uitlanders in the Transvaal a fair share in the govern- 
ment of the country which owes everything to their exertions. It 
could be made perfectly clear that our action was not directed against 
the existence of the Republic. We should be only demanding the re- 
establishment of rights which now exist in the Orange Free State, 
and which existed in the Transvaal itself at the time of, and long after, 
the withdrawal of British sovereignty. It would be no selfish demand, 
as other Uitlanders besides those of British birth would benefit by it. 
It is asking for nothing from others which we do not give ourselves. 
And it would certainly go to the root of the political unrest in South 
Africa, and though temporarily it might aggravate, it would ultimately 
extinguish, the race feud which is the great bane of the country." 

The point at issue was in fact the maintenance of British supremacy 
conference at m South Africa ; the only possible cure was such an 
Bioemfontein. alteration in the franchise as would render immediately 
possible a complete change in the policy hitherto pursued by the 
Transvaal. The franchise thus became the one great point of discussion 
at the Conference. Anxious to gain a little time, the President suggested 
various schemes, all of which were and could be easily shown to be 
futile for the desired purpose, but which were cleverly conceived to 
raise the idea that the British Government was in an overbearing 
manner pressing for insignificant points and had already determined 
upon violent measures. Many people found it difficult at the time to 
avoid this conclusion. The diplomacy of Mr. Chamberlain did not 
appear conciliatory, the suspicion with which every proposition of the 
Boers was received, the uncertainty of the legal aspect of the case, led 
many to believe that greater tact and a more sympathetic treatment of 
the question might have avoided war. Such a view was an error. 
With two nations of entirely different aspirations facing each other, 
led by two men of masterful and obstinate character, and both of 
them underrating the military strength of their opponents, war was 
from the first inevitable, though when it came it came somewhat as 
a surprise and from the quarter whence it was least expected. The 
last of Mr. Kruger's offers with respect to the franchise raised the real 


question at issue. He offered a five years' franchise, which was what 
England had been demanding, but appended conditions virtually 
annihilating the suzerainty of England and declaring the complete 
independence of the Transvaal. The conditions were of course declined, 
and the offer was withdrawn. Attempts to get the offer renewed without 
the conditions proved useless, and the Government declared themselves 
" obliged to consider the situation afresh," and to formulate their own 
proposals for a final settlement. 

Meanwhile it had become quite obvious that if there was a war it 
would be a war of races. Mr. Steyn, President of the intervention of 
Orange Free State, had intervened. He complained Mr - steyn. 
that imperial troops were massing upon the borders of his State. He 
refused to listen to the reply that this was merely a counter-step 
against the armed measures of the Boers, and finally induced his 
Volksraad to pass a declaration that there was no cause for war, that 
if it was begun by her Majesty's Government it would be calamitous 
and criminal, and that the Free State would throw in its lot with the 
South African Republic. Things had come to such a pass that in 
September troops had been ordered out both from India and from 
England. Small though the reinforcements were, they were yet 
sufficient to make the Boers a little uncertain as to that complete supe- 
riority of their arms on which they had relied ; and on Boer ult i ma - 
the 9th of October Mr. Reiz, the State Secretary of the tum - 0ct - 9 - 
Transvaal, handed in a lengthy and angry ultimatum, demanding that 
all the troops on the borders of the Republic should be instantly with- 
drawn, that all the reinforcements which had arrived since June should 
be removed, and that the troops now on the high seas should not be 
allowed to land. A reply was to be given not later than 5 p.m. on 
the 11th of October. If the reply was not favourable "the Transvaal 
Government would be compelled to regard the action of her Majesty's 
Government as a formal declaration of war." It is needless to say 
that such an ultimatum was at once refused ; and Mr. Steyn having 
notified that he intended to carry out the late resolution of the Volks- 
raad, the inevitable war began. The Boer commandos at once crossed 
the frontier in three directions, entering Natal on the 12th of October 
by Laing's Nek from the Transvaal, while from the Orange State they 
advanced westward, besieging Kimberley and Mafeking, and southward 
towards Stormberg. 

Though the evidence given before the Commission of Inquiry, 
appointed after the end of the war, has brought to Negligence of 
light the shortcomings of the War Office, the Report the cabinet. 


has rightly laid the blame of the disastrous opening of the war upon 
the Cabinet as a whole. They had been fully warned. The Intelli- 
gence Department, the officers in command on the spot, and the 
military experts at home had all joined in bringing to the knowledge 
of the Ministry the threatening state of military preparation in the 
Transvaal, the aggressive temper of the Boers, the certainty that the 
Orange State would make common cause with their Dutch compatriots, 
and the desperate character which a war in South Africa was likely to 
assume ; yet the sudden ultimatum and the immediate action taken 
upon it came with all the effect of a surprise. The troops, whether in 
Natal or in Cape Colony, were wholly insufficient for the purposes of 
aggressive defence, though they barely succeeded in warding off the 
disaster of a triumphant and successful invasion, The preparations 
both at home and in the Colony for sustaining a lengthened and 
important war were totally inadequate. Such easily understood 
requirements as abundant ammunition, a proper reserve of equipments, 
and a supply of trustworthy maps, were all wanting. No means had 
been taken to counteract or rival the well-known mobility of the Boer 
commandos. The artillery proved deficient in quality. But in all 
this there was nothing new, nothing which has not characterised the 
opening of every considerable war in which Great Britain has taken 
part. The country, leaning upon its wealth and industrial develop- 
ment, always regards a great or offensive war as a thing too improbable, 
and too far off, to demand attention. It is satisfied with the care of 
what it regards as a sufficient guarantee for safety, its naval pre- 
ponderance, the excellence and high organisation of the fleet, which it 
speaks X)f as the first line, but which it really believes to be the only 
necessary line, of defence. If Great Britain is to be ready to carry on 
military operations on a large scale either in Europe or elsewhere, 
there is no doubt that the military system and the War Office which 
is charged with its administration must be thoroughly revised. 

But in the present instance the charge of unreadiness was not a 
military but a political charge, and arose from an 

Conviction that ,. . f. , , u n \- ± c xi. • 

there would be entire misconception by the Cabinet ot the importance 
no war. ^ ^ e W ar, and from a persistent conviction of some of 

its chief members that there would be no war at all. Everything points 
to the belief that the negotiators were throughout convinced that the 
Boers would so far yield to pressure as to accept a position which might 
satisfy the demands of empire. The openness and roughness of the 
diplomacy rested upon this conviction. It was the game of the bully. 
When it proved a losing game, and when the Cabinet was forced to 


recognise the truth of the many indications of inflexible determination 
shown by the Boers, it came upon them as a surprise and with the neces- 
sary consequences of a surprise. It must not however be forgotten that 
throughout the negotiations the Ministers were in a position implying 
an awkward dilemma. Any signs of warlike preparations or increase 
of troops would inevitably risk their negotiations, any absence of such 
preparations would inevitably give the Boers the initiative if the 
negotiations failed. They chose one horn of the dilemma, with the 
necessary consequence that the initiative passed out of their hands. 

The chief danger was at first in Natal. It was thought desirable 
to defend the extreme north of the Colony in the Beg-inning of 
direction of Laing's Nek. From a military point of tk ewar - 
view the determination was unwise ; for the north of Natal consisted 
of a triangular tongue of mountainous and difficult country running up 
between the Transvaal and the Orange State, and thus open to assault 
from both sides. Political reasons, the fear of the disheartening effect 
on the Colony of the occupation by the Boers of any part of its 
territory, and the great risk that the Zulus would throw in their lot 
with the advancing enemy, were urgently pressed upon Sir George 
White, then in command of the forces in Natal. He yielded, 
and allowed General Penn Symons to hold Glencoe, while he 
himself concentrated the bulk of the army in the town of Ladysmith. 
On the 15th of October the Boers, having occupied Newcastle, 
made an effort to surround and cut off' the troops in Glencoe. They 
were checked by a brilliant engagement at Talana Hill (October 20), 
but the victory was attended not only by the loss of General Penn 
Symons, but by the capture of a considerable body of cavalry and 
mounted infantry who, pressing too far forward, found themselves 
surrounded and taken off to Pretoria. Nor was the victory sufficient 
to check the Boer advance. A second victorious encounter fought 
under General French at Elandslaagte (October 21) was equally 
ineffective. General Yule, who had succeeded Penn Symons, found it 
necessary to leave his sick and wounded behind at Dundee, where 
they were well cared for by the Boers, and to withdraw his forces by 
a somewhat circuitous route to join the headquarters at Ladysmith. 
The movement was covered by Sir George White, who met the enemy 
on the 24th of October at Kietfontein. Though this engagement was 
successful in its object of allowing the troops under Yule to reach Lady- 
smith, it did not check the Boer advance. In great strength, probably 
twice as numerous as the British troops, they surrounded the town, 
enclosing within it Sir George White and his army of about 12,000 




men, and then moved the rest of their forces onwards till they 
reached the Tugela river and threatened to overrun the whole 
colony. An attempt on the part of Sir George White to loosen 
their hold on Ladysmith led to a serious disaster a few days later. 
Colonel Carleton was sent on a night march towards Nicholson's Nek, 
in the hope of turning the enemy's hank. lie apparently marched into 

Scale of Miles 
? ^o T ,5 2 ° 2 ,5 3° 

Walk«i-& Cockerel] sc. 

a well-planned ambush. Stones, rolled down from the hills, stampeded 
his ammunition mules ; his troops were compelled to retire to a 
neighbouring hill, where they fought for five hours till, their ammuni- 
tion being exhausted, surrender was forced upon them, and 900 more 
prisoners fell into the hands of the Boers (October 30). 

This disastrous opening of the campaign was chiefly due to the false 


position in which the British forces had been placed, a position which 
could have been allowed by the military only on an absolute miscon- 
ception as to the strength of their opponents. It was with astonishment 
that the British artillery found itself entirely outranged by the artillery 
of the Boers ; and the situation at Ladysmith was only saved by the 
timely arrival of a contingent from the fleet (November 2), bringing 
with it more effective ordnance. When Sir Redvers General Bui- 
Buller, a man in whom the strongest reliance was felt, ler ' s arrival. 
was placed in command, and it was known that an army corps was 
already on its way to reinforce the troops, it was believed in England, 
in despite of the want of success in withstanding the Boer advance, that 
the danger was biit temporary and that the year might well see the 
conclusion of the war. The vanity of this hope was soon discovered. 
The first duty of the troops as they arrived was to relieve the two 
beleaguered garrisons at the opposite ends of the frontier line, and at 
the same time to check the Boer commandos which had crossed the 
Orange river and were finding assistance from their Dutch brethren 
within Cape Colony. The condition of things in Natal was so threaten- 
ing that General Buller thought his presence there necessary. The 
advance towards Kimberley was intrusted to Lord Methuen. General 
Gatacre was given the exceedingly difficult task of clearing with quite 
inadequate troops the northern frontier of Cape Colony and the districts 
around Storraberg. 

In all three directions misfortune met the British arms. Lord 
Methuen, having won a distinct victory at Belmont Mag-ersfontein, 
(November 22), and having forced the line of the Dec - 10 > u « 
Modder river with considerable loss, found himself confronted by the 
army of Commandant Cronje occupying the strong position of Magers- 
fontein. He attempted his assault on the night of the 10th of December, 
hoping to fall upon the Boers by surprise. Such night marches, 
though much favoured by the generals in this war, are peculiarly 
liable to mishap. A warning, perhaps given by Boer spies, perhaps 
by the accidental discharge of a rifle, allowed the enemy to penetrate 
the design. In the darkness the Highland Brigade had been brought 
too close to the trenches before assuming open order ; the men were 
but half deployed when a murderous and overwhelming fire was 
opened on them. They were reduced to seek shelter, but remained 
at close quarters with the enemy until at one o'clock in the following 
afternoon one of the regiments could bear it no longer and retired 
some 500 yards. The battle had spread in other directions, but the 
assault had failed. Lord Methuen in his despatch writes, " The 


retirement was unfortunate, for the enemy were at this time quitting 
the trenches by tens and twenties. The men in the Highland Brigade 
were ready enough to rally, but the paucity of officers rendered this 
no easy matter. I attach no blame to this splendid Brigade." How- 
ever this may have been, Lord Methuen's great attempt had proved 
a failure, and had cost more than 800 men. 

On the very same day General Gatacre, constantly urged by the 
Commander-in-Chief at Cape Town to make an 
defeat at advance, and hoping to compensate for the deficiency 

stormbergr. Q f y g f orces ^y SO mewhat rash tactics, was attempting 

to dislodge his opponents at Stormberg by a movement of a similar 
character. In the night of the 9th of December he led a force of about 
3000 men from Molteno, with the intention of turning the right flank 
of the enemy. His guides deceived him. He persisted none the 
less in pushing on, and found himself suddenly face to face with a 
foe already expecting him, and in a strong position. His men were 
much wearied with the long night march, and after a gallant attempt 
to drive the enemy from the hills, were forced to withdraw. The 
retreat was disastrous. Broken by fatigue, and constantly under the 
fire of the Boers from the neighbouring hills, it was with the loss of 
more than 600 men taken prisoners, besides 80 killed and wounded, 
that the column regained Molteno. 

Five days later began the series of operations which ultimately 
coienso, resulted in the relief of Lady smith. But that object was 

Dec - 15 - not attained till after many failures, the effect of which 

was very painful to the vanity of the English people. The evidence 
taken by the Commission of Inquiry throws much light upon the 
reasons for these failures. Sir Redvers Buller had not full confidence 
in his troops. He found himself face to face with a most difficult 
military problem and supplied with forces insufficient in number and 
entirely unused to war. From his own evidence it would seem as 
though his first operations were intended rather to train his troops than 
to attain the immediate object, the relief of Ladysmith. Unwilling to 
expose his untried men to the difficulties of bush fighting, he avoided 
an attack upon the left or eastern part of the Boer position, which 
proved subsequently to be the easiest road towards the beleaguered 
town. Believing that he could cross the Tugela and find beyond it 
an advanced position offering some safety and some room for the 
movements of his troops, he determined to attack Coienso. He says 
himself that he never went so far as to give orders for an attack, but had 
only pointed out the positions he wished his troops to occupy. The 

1900] SPION KOP 253 

Brigade upon the left under General Hart advancing beyond the 
indicated position came under fire and was involved in battle. While 
withdrawing them, Buller received information that upon the right his 
artillery had also been pushed into an untenable position ; men and 
horses were shot down at long range and perhaps also from the 
thickets in the immediate neighbourhood. All efforts to rescue the 
guns proved unavailing and no less than eleven had to be abandoned. 
The check was so severe that Buller considered it inexpedient to renew 
the attack. 

Within a week the British arms had thus sustained three sharp 
reverses. No wonder that complaints were heard in Renewed 
England of the incapacity of the Generals ; but neither efforts, 
the people nor the Government were dismayed. As is not unusual in 
the case of English wars, want of immediate success called out the 
latent combativeness of the nation. The number of those who spoke 
against the war grew less, the determination to bring it to a successful 
end grew sterner. The Government, fully aware at last of the 
ridiculous misconceptions under which it had entered upon the war, 
with reckless lavishness now poured troops into the Colony. Seven 
Divisions had already been mobilised and despatched. An eighth 
Division was now constructed. Volunteers were called for from the 
Yeomanry and the volunteer regiments. The colonies, who from the 
first had exhibited their loyalty to the empire by offering and despatch- 
ing the small contingent of troops which were at that time considered 
sufficient, were earnestty requested to send more mounted men. But, 
more important still, it was recognised that the war in Lord Roberts' 
Natal gave work enough to Sir Redvers Buller, and arrival. 
Lord Roberts, with Lord Kitchener as his Chief of the Staff, was 
appointed to the chief command, and intrusted with the advance 
through the Orange State. 

Almost immediately after the arrival of Lord Roberts, Sir Redvers 
Buller made his second attempt. Again the evidence S pion Kop. 
before the Commission throws much light upon what Jan - 23 - 
happened. But the light is broken and perplexing, because the two 
generals on whom the ultimate responsibility must rest give very 
different versions of the events themselves and interpret them in a 
very different spirit. Buller's plan seems to have been to make a wide 
turning movement towards his west or left flank and to reach what he 
believed to be comparatively level ground at Acton Homes behind the 
Boer defences of the Tugela. Meanwhile a direct attack of the nature 
of a feint was to be made upon the passage of the river known as 


Potgieter's Drift. The whole of this movement was placed in the 
hands of Sir Charles Warren. Understanding that he was intrusted 
with an independent command, he used his discretion in the interpre- 
tation of the general orders given him. Believing that the country 
round Acton Homes was unfavourable for the intended operations, he 
restricted the turning movement within much narrower limits than 
those which Buller had suggested. The plan as thus conceived 
required the occupation of a ridge extending westward from Spion 
Kop, and of that mountain itself, the capture of which had not been 
originally contemplated. General Buller was however himself present 
and accepted though unwillingly the change of plan. The attack was 
postponed for a day in order to allow the ground to be reconnoitred, 
but on the night of the 23rd of January the troops under the immediate 
command of General Woodgate occupied Spion Kop with little loss. 
The surface of the hill did not lend itself well to entrenchments, nor 
were such as were erected very satisfactorily placed. The troops 
upon the summit found themselves exposed to a terrible fire from the 
adjoining hills and the loss was very great. The pressure was so 
strong that Buller thought it necessary, on the death of General 
Woodgate, so far to interfere with the arrangements of his lieutenant 
as to order him to put Colonel Thorneycroft in command with the 
rank of Brigadier-General, over the heads of the officers to whom the 
command would naturally have fallen. He selected Thorneycroft as 
being a trustworthy fighting man. Though exposed to a fearful fire 
and tortured by thirst, the troops courageously held their position 
during the whole day, in the midst of a carnage rendered all the more 
terrible by the narrow limits within which it was concentrated. Sir 
Charles Warren, acting as he tells us under the direction of General 
Buller which he recognises as wise, did not himself visit the hill, and 
communication appears to have been very difficult and much inter- 
rupted. He had no idea of relinquishing the position. Reinforcements 
and engineers with the necessary material for entrenchments were 
actually advancing up the mountain when they were met by the 
defenders in full retreat. The slaughter had been so great, the chance 
of bringing guns to the summit or of successfully handling them when 
there appeared so slight, that Thorneycroft had thought it wise to 
order a retirement. It seems uncertain whether the position might 
not have been safely reoccupied on the following morning. Lord 
Roberts considered that it would have been possible to re-establish the 
position during the night and blames Thorneycroft for withdrawing. 
After the withdrawal Sir Eedvers Buller himself took over the 


command, and a safe and orderly retreat across the Tugela was 
accomplished. It is perhaps useless to apportion the blame of this 
dearly bought disaster. As sometimes happens bravery lost its reward 
because " some one had blundered." In the judgment of Lord Roberts, 
want of energy in Warren, want of decision in Buller, and want of 
tenacity in Thorneycroft, combined to produce the unfortunate result. 

Whatever may have been the mistakes Buller committed, he did 
not fail in dogged persistency. Ten days afterwards vaaikranz, 
he attempted for the third time to break through Feb - 5 - 
the Boer lines. On this occasion he selected an opening a little 
further to the east, and succeeded in driving the enemy from a ridge 
of hills known as Vaaikranz. Nor were the Boers able to dislodge him. 
But closer examination led to the opinion that further advance would 
have brought the troops under a fire too heavy to have been resisted ; 
and once more General Buller withdrew behind the Tugela. 

Meanwhile, on the other scene of the war, Lord Roberts and Lord 
Kitchener had been busily engaged in organising what The relief of 
was intended to be the great work of the campaign, Kimberley. 
the direct invasion of the Orange Free State and the Transvaal. But 
Kimberley had first to be relieved. Hie army under Lord Roberts 
had been concentrated to the south of the Modder river, and while 
General Methuen continued to face CronjVs army, a force of 5000 
horsemen and two divisions of infantry were collected some thirty 
miles to the south. The enemy, already misled by a temporary 
advance of a brigade under Sir Hector Macdonald towards the west, 
were still further deceived by this movement of troops towards the 
south-east. The forces thus collected were placed under General 
French. Sweeping round the beleaguering army, he crossed the Riet 
and the Modder rivers before any serious effort could be made to 
intercept him. Leaving the infantry to hold the ground he had 
covered, the cavalry pressed on with extreme rapidity and reached 
Kimberley on February 15. The Boer forces at once withdrew, 
and the long siege was at an end For four months the garrison 
and townspeople had held out under the skilful management of 
Colonel Kekewich. Mr. Rhodes, who had gone to Kimberley at 
the outbreak of the war, charged himself with the defence of the 
mines, and by a judicious use of his wealth and by finding employment 
for the poorer inhabitants did much to alleviate their sufferings. 
Though the siege, as a military operation, presented no striking 
features, it played a considerable part of the general plan of the cam- 
paign. The presence of Mr. Rhodes in the town gave it a fictitious 


value in the eyes of the Boers ; and the forces under the command 
of Cronje, which might otherwise have been a source of great danger, 
remained practically useless around it while Lord Boberts was com- 
pleting his plans. 

The relief of Kimberley was however but a side issue of the 
cronje's sur- greater operations of the campaign. With General 
render, Feb. 27. French's troops between him and Kimberley, and 
aware of the intentions of Lord Roberts, Cronje at once retired with 
great rapidity up the Modder river towards Bloemfontein. An exciting 
race between him and his pursuers brought him to Paardeberg, where 
he found that he had been outstripped and that the British troops lay all 
around him. He took up a position in the bed of the river (February 17). 
And there, with their women and children huddled in wagons or 
sheltered in burrows scooped in the sand, he and his followers held out 
under a fearful artillery fire for more than a week. Gradually the 
ring of his assailants closed round him, and at length the occupation 
by some of the Canadians of a position commanding the river bed 
(February 26) and the hideous condition of his camp from the 
destruction wrought by the artillery upon his horses and cattle, drove 
him to surrender. He capitulated unconditionally, and with his whole 
army of 4000 men was at once despatched to St. Helena. 

This great surrender was followed by the occupation of Bloem- 
fontein. The resistance offered to the advance of the 

Occupation of 

Bloemfontein, troops from Paardeberg was overcome without much 
difficulty. But the hardships of the whole march had 
been severe. While in the act of carrying out his great operation, 
Lord Roberts had been nearly crippled by the unfortunate loss of a 
large convoy of provisions (February 15). In full reliance on his 
troops however he had proceeded with his work, and though reduced 
to half and even to quarter rations, his men had not failed him. But 
once arrived at Bloemfontein, a period of rest and recruitment was 
a matter of absolute necessity; the horses were worn out, supplies 
had to be brought up from the Cape. For six weeks the army lay in 
apparent idleness, an unfortunate necessity, as it prevented Lord 
Roberts from taking immediate advantage of the disorganisation of 
the enemy, and allowed the Boers time to recover their shaken 

The rapid advance towards Bloemfontein and the critical situation 
_., , of the Boer leader at Paardeberg had somewhat lessened 

Buller s last m . , 

effort, Feb. the grip of the Boers upon Ladysmith. A certain 

number of them had been called off into the Orange 




State to attempt to save Cronje from his fate. But too much stress 
has been laid upon this ; there were still abundance of burghers left 
to hold the Colenso position which had hitherto proved impregnable. 

Walker &Cockerell sc. 

General Buller had spoken of having found out at last the key of 
the position, when he occupied Vaalkranz. His words at the time 
were over sanguine, but a few weeks later a fresh effort was made, 
and the words proved true. Much hard work and hard fighting had 


changed the untried lads of a few months before into an army of 
veterans ; he could now venture to undertake what he had then 
shrunk from, an attack upon the weak point in the Boer position, 
their eastern or left flank. At Colenso the river Tugela makes a 
sharp angle to the north and then again resumes its south-easterly 
course. This crook in the river was occupied by the Hlangwana 
Hill. The Boers had been allowed to cross the river and fortify this 
hill, which thus formed the eastern end of their position. The 
defenders of the hill would, if it was assaulted, have the disad- 
vantage of fighting with the river behind them, and there would 
necessarily be some difficulty in reinforcing them. If captured, the 
hill enfiladed and commanded the whole Colenso position. It was 
to effect this capture that the army, after a few days of rest and 
almost at the same time that Cronje's forces were entangled at 
Paardeberg, was launched upon its fourth and final effort to relieve 
Ladysmith, an effort which entailed fourteen days of constant and 
costly fighting. 

Quite at the extreme left and beyond the lines of the Boers, two 
hills, Monte Christo and Cingolo, commanded the Hlangwana Hill, 
just as that hill itself commanded the Colenso position. These two 
hills were taken with but slight resistance, and on the following day 
Hlangwana, (February 19) the enemy was driven from Hlangwana 
Feb - 19 - itself. It would seem that there was a general belief, 

in which Buller shared, that this capture was so decisive that the 
enemy would at once withdraw, and that no opposition would be 
offered except by a weak rearguard; he therefore stopped his flanking 
movement, brought his troops and guns across the river a little to the 
north of Colenso, and determined to push his way straight to Lady- 
smith, following the line of railway. This sanguine view was soon 
dissipated by bitter experience. Three hills lay across the approach 
to the city. The assault of the first of these was entrusted to 
General Hart with the Irish Brigade, and was carried out with 
desperate bravery (February 22). But the assailants were unable 
to reach the trenches, and had to content themselves, after the 
loss of half their number, with holding grimly on, in a position 
affording some slight shelter about 400 yards from the enemy. 
Warned, by this check, of the continued difficulty of a direct forward 
march, General Buller resumed his former strategy, recrossed the 
river, and again turning the Boer left flank, captured the most 
eastern of the three hills which, barring the direct advance by the 
railway, were known as the Pieter's position. The possession of this 


hill, as in the case of Hlangwana, rendered the defence of the other 
two impossible. A simultaneous assault upon them pieter's urn, 
drove the Boers to flight, and for the first time since Feb - 27, 
the operations had begun victory fell to the lot of the British. 

The hope of saving Ladysmith was on the point of realisation. It- 
was even nearer than either troops or general imagined. Relief of Lady- 
The wide plain which spread from the back of the smith. 
Pieter's position was intersected by ridges, and the great Bulwana 
mountain overhanging Ladysmith was still in the hands of the enemy. 
Another great battle seemed necessary. But in truth the Boers had 
been thoroughly beaten and understood their defeat ; they were rapidly 
withdrawing with all their wagons and guns. The English cavalry 
advancing to reconnoitre found no obstacle in the way, and Lord 
Dundonald, galloping forward with a few squadrons, was able to join 
hands with the enfeebled but steadfast garrison (February 28). The 
relief came none to soon ; 118 days of constant bombardment, aggra- 
vated by semi-starvation and the ravages of enteric fever, had so 
weakened the garrison that at the close of the siege no more than 2000 
men, described as tottering under the weight of their rifles, could be 
collected to keep up even a semblance of pursuit upon the retiring 
Boers. Among the many glorious recollections of the British army the 
lengthened defence of Ladysmith will always find a place. Sir George 
White, when once he had determined that the proper strategy to 
adopt was to hold the town and thus to keep the enemies employed who 
would otherwise have overrun South Natal, conducted the defence 
with great skill, and was well seconded by the courage of his troops and 
the patience of the residents. On first finding himself compelled to 
fall back and occupy the town, he had thought of attempting offensive 
measures of defence. But warned by his ill success at Nicholson's Nek 
(October 30), he contented himself with occupying a widespread defensive 
position, and there awaited relief. It is said that 16,000 shells fell 
within the lines. The inhabitants found shelter in holes dug in the 
banks of the river. The number of men admitted to the hospital during 
the investment nearly equalled the number of the whole beleaguered 
army. Before the relief arrived ammunition was running short, and 
even the supply of horse flesh was failing. Several assaults had been 
repulsed. One of these, on the 6th of January, when the hills to the south 
of the position were attacked with a desperate bravery which threatened 
for a while to be successful, was one of the few instances of close personal 
fighting which occurred during the war. If the tenacity and courage of 
the besieged had been great, the loss of the relieving army tells a tale of 


persistent bravery in the face of overwhelming" difficulties. The loss in 
killed and wounded in Buller's army during its four attempts was more 
than 5000, nearly 20 per cent, of its whole number. Questions may 
be raised as to the wisdom of the strategy and tactics employed ; but 
it remains certain that the greatest difficulty of the whole war had 
been successfully encountered, and that the General retained to 
the end the confidence and admiration of his troops. 

The pursuit was not pressed. The Boers withdrew with baggage 
and artillery to a position on the Biggarsberg south of Laing's Nek. 
Thither Buller followed them, and after three months, during which he 
was awaiting the developments of the war in the Orange State, by some 
well-arranged movements he brought his army into the Transvaal and 
compelled the further withdrawal of the enemy (June 12). 

Meanwhile the enforced idleness of the army at Bloemfontein 
encouraged the Free Staters to resume the offensive. The scene of 
their activity was in the south and east, where Christian De Wet first 
gave proof of his extraordinaiy ability as a partisan leader. The 
advance of Lord Koberts had allowed the British troops in the north 
of Cape Colony to push across the Orange river. At Bethulie the 
bridge, saved by the gallantry of Captain Popham and Lieutenant 
Grant, who succeeded in withdrawing dynamite charges placed for its 
destruction, was used by General Gatacre in his advance to Springfontein, 
while Colonel Brabant with the Colonial troops (March 11) crossed at 
Aliwal, and sending forward part of his force along the Basuto border, 
occupied Wepener. From Bloemfontein itself a force had proceeded 
eastward, had captured the waterworks, about 25 miles from the city, 
and still pushing forward had occupied Thabanchu. The north-eastern 
districts of the Orange State were still occupied by the Boer com- 
mandos. Towards the end of March they began to renew their activity. 
Colonel Broadwood was compelled to retire from Thabanchu, and crossing 
as he believed in perfect safety the plain which led to Bloemfontein, 
sannah's Post, suddenly found himself in an ambush carefully laid 
March 31. j n |] ie b e( j f a s t re am, at Sannah's Post, and there lost 

180 wagons of his convoy, 7 guns, and 426 prisoners. Worse than 
the actual loss was the occupation by the Boers of the waterworks, 
obliging as it did the troops in Bloemfontein to use the inferior water 
of the town, and thus adding fresh violence to the outbreak of 
enteric fever already raging. 

Four days later a party of about 2000 of the same troops who had 
Reddersburg, ambushed Broadwood, passing southward, surrounded 
April 4. a detachment, consisting of three companies of Irish 


Rifles and two of mounted infantry, drawn from General Gatacre's 
force, and compelled them to surrender at Keddersburg. The dis- 
aster at Sannah's Post and the withdrawal of General Colville's 
division from Thabanchu had left these companies uncovered. They 
were ordered to withdraw, and during the operation were sur- 
rounded by the Boers. Without guns, without water, and having lost 
most of their officers, the men, after holding out for two days upon 
some kopjes which they had occupied, were driven to surrender. 
Though General Gatacre, on receiving information of their danger, 
had collected troops with extreme rapidity for their rescue, he was too 
late, and 550 more prisoners fell into the hands of the Boers. It 
was a most disastrous week. But at least it taught the English 
that the country was not yet conquered, that it was unsafe to wander 
in small detachments, and that some concentration for defence was a 
matter of necessity. 

One characteristic in the generalship of Lord Roberts was his 
capacity for disregarding small reverses, and of fixing . .. 

L J . 1 . -, 11V. Annexation of 

his attention upon the great essentials. As the loss of the Orange 
his convoy had in no wise checked his march upon 
Bloemfontein, so now, in spite of Sannah's Post and Reddersburg, he 
continued unmoved to prepare for his advance to Pretoria. The 
Orange Free State was declared to be annexed to the British empire, 
and became the Orange River Colony. Bloemfontein was organised 
as a British possession. A proclamation was issued offering protection 
to such Boers as would give a declaration of neutrality. It was the 
first instance of an error which seems to have gone hand in hand with 
Lord Roberts 1 brilliant strategy. He seems to have misapprehended 
the fundamental difference which exists between the defeat of organ- 
ised opposition and the occupation of a conquered country. It proved 
impossible to give effect to the promises of the Proclamation. In 
innumerable instances neutral Boers, who had surrendered under its 
provisions, were attacked by the scattered forces of the enemy, and, 
finding themselves unprotected, joined the ranks of their belligerent 
fellow-countrymen. On many of these occasions their conduct was 
no doubt forced upon them ; but a door was opened for fictitious sur- 
renders to be recalled when the immediate danger from the British 
troops was withdrawn, and the country behind the advancing army 
remained in the occupation of covert enemies. 

Before the actual forward movement began, an attempt was 
made to envelop a portion of De Wet's troops, who, Relief of We- 
a few days after their success at Reddersburg, had pener, April 25. 


attempted a similar stroke upon Brabant's troops in Wepcner. The 
Colonials, of whom the garrison consisted, being well led by Major 
Balgety, and well supplied, found no great difficulty in repelling all 
assaults and in holding their position for seventeen days. Lord Roberts 
hoped to enclose and capture the Boer commandos who were thus held 
in a state of inactivity. Columns from several directions were turned 
upon them, and Ian Hamilton with a force consisting chiefly of mounted 
infantry pushed forward to Thabanchu to cut off their retreat. But De 
Wet, to whom every inhabitant served as an intelligence agent, found no 
difficulty on this occasion as on so many others in avoiding the snare, 
and withdrew into safety. But even this futile attempt was worked into 
the general plan. Ian Hamilton's force, now raised to some 13,000 
men, became at once the right wing of the main army, which began its 
great advance on May 1. 

The movement was extraordinarily rapid. It was Ian Hamilton's 
duty, acting on the right, to turn each position as it was 

Advance to . , , 

Pretoria, May i occupied by the enemy. The strategy was completely 
successful. With nearly constant fighting, but without 
any general engagements, the army swept on. The enemy withdrew 
from position after position. Kroonstad, where the Government of 
the Orange State had taken refuge, was occupied on the 12th. A 
week's halt was allowed, and then the rapid march was resumed, till 
on the 2Gth and 27th the A r aal river was crossed and the Transvaal 
itself invaded. General French, and Ian Hamilton, who had now 
moved across the main army to the left flank, drove back the enemy 
from their last position atDoornkop on the Klip river, and on May 31st 
Lord Roberts with his troops, having marched 130 miles in seven days, 
entered Johannesburg. They were still 30 miles from the capital, 
which was known to be defended by very formidable works. For- 
tunately these were not held, and after a very slight resistance, on the 
5th of June, the army marched into Pretoria. The second capital 
was thus occupied. Perhaps the pleasantest fruit of the victory was 
the liberation of the 130 officers from the Pretoria prison, and of the 
3000 soldiers whom a rapid rush of a body of cavalry released from 
Waterval, some 14 miles to the north. 

In his advance on Pretoria Lord Roberts had included the relief of 
Relief of Mafeking. There, from the first breaking out of the 

Mafeking-. waTj the little garrison under command of Colonel 

Baden-Powell had been offering a determined and spirited resistance. 
Attempts to relieve it had been made by Colonel Plumer from the 
north, but had not as yet proved successful. An expedition of mounted 


troops under Colonel Mahon was now organised with extreme secrecy, 
and succeeded in making its way intoMafeking on the 17th of May, and 
compelling the withdrawal of the besiegers. The gallant defence of the 
place and the resourceful character of the commander had fixed the 
attention of the people of England upon the little town. Its fate and the 
incidents of the siege had been watched with extraordinary interest, 
and the news of its relief was received with an outburst of riotous and 
enthusiastic joy somewhat out of proportion to the real importance of 
the event. 

Although Lord Roberts had now secured the two capitals, which in 
an ordinary war of the European type would probably second phase 
have brought the struggle to a conclusion, his position of the war. 
was one of great danger. The very rapidity of his success had 
aggravated the difficulty ; for, unbroken by any crushing defeat, and 
wisely avoiding the temptation of holding out in their towns against 
an overwhelming enemy, the Boers had fallen back upon a form of 
warfare for which they were much better fitted than for the great 
operations of war. An unbeaten force of Free Staters occupied the 
north-east of the Orange State, under the command of De Wet, 
Olivier, and Prinsloo. Lord Roberts' communications (most slenderly 
held) were at once exposed to their dashing strategy, while their 
threatening approach to the colonial frontier on the south was with 
difficulty checked by the dispersed forces of Rundle and Brabant. And 
at the same time all around Pretoria Lord Roberts had to face the 
equally unbeaten forces of the Transvaal, ready at any moment to under- 
take offensive operations. The existence of the danger soon became 
evident. De Wet played havoc upon the railway, and for some days 
the force at Pretoria was absolutely isolated. His various attacks 
(at Lindley, May 31, at Roodival, June 7, and at Rhenoster, June 14) 
caused the unfortunate loss of a large body of Yeomanry which had been 
by some error left unsupported at Lindley, and of a regiment of Militia 
at Roodival ; while the railway was entirely broken up and all com- 
munication with Cape Colony for the time rendered impossible. These 
events, disastrous and disheartening as they were, had however no effect 
upon the general course of the war. Before the advance of Lord 
Methuen from the west with a force of 6000 men, the active partisan 
leader retired to join the bulk of his compatriots in the north-east. 

A second danger calling for more energetic treatment menaced the 
army at Pretoria. The presence of an unbeaten enemy within fifteen 
miles was a standing threat which could not be tolerated. On the 
11th of June the army pushed out eastward, and one of the most 


considerable battles of the war was fought at Diamond Hill. The opera- 
Diamond Hiu, ti° ns covered a line of 16 miles, and resolved themselves 
June 11. into three distinct combats. Victory was secured and 

the position cleared by the success of Ian Hamilton upon the right. A 
combat of two days' duration, during which the guns were at one time 
in extreme jeopardy and saved only by brilliant cavalry charges, placed 
his force upon the plateau which crowned the Boer position. The 
gallant conduct of the 82nd Battery, which in the face of a tremendous 
fire took up and held a position within 1200 yards of the enemy, saved 
a situation which might otherwise have proved critical. Lord Roberts 
was now able to give his troops the necessary rest, and gradually to 
extend his right until Ian Hamilton, passing through Heilbron, could 
join hands with Buller, who with the Natal forces had been gradually 
working northwards after his successful passage of the mountains. 
The armies of the Orange State and the Transvaal were thus sepa- 
rated, and the ground was being cleared for separate action against 

Both operations were successful. The first, as was natural because 
it tended to the safety of the communications, was directed against the 
Orange Staters who, under De Wet, Prinsloo, Olivier, and De Villiers 
were occupying the inaccessible hill country along the Basuto border 
between Ficksburg and Bethlehem. Against these troops six columns 
were converged, and gradually closed in upon them. At length, after 
constant fighting, the commandos were surrounded near Fouriesburg 
in the Caledon Valley, but not before the indefatigable De Wet had 
broken from them, rushed rapidly northward, and made his appearance 
upon the railway at Vredefort. Those who remained were driven to an 
Prinsioo's sur- unconditional surrender, on the 30th of July. It seemed 
rom-lesburg however that Prinsloo had gone somewhat beyond his 
July 30. authority. At all events Olivier with 1500 men broke 

away from the main body and escaped. The surrendered troops num- 
bered nearly 5000, with 3 guns. The great advantage strategically of 
this capture was the opening of the railway through Van Reenen's Pass 
into Natal, which enabled supplies to be brought direct from Durban. 

Apart from local disturbances which were constantly arising in all 
parts of the country, the war had been at length concentrated in the 
Transvaal. But before moving forward, and while waiting for the 
arrival of fresh horses, Lord Roberts had to beat off attacks all round 
Pretoria. For General Botha appears to have intended to use the 
enforced idleness of the British commander to execute a combined 
attack upon the town. As a part of this plan De la Rey was sent 


into the western districts, where he proved a most active and uncon- 
querable enemy. So large a movement was really beyond the powers 
of the Boers ; their assaults were insufficient to detain Lord Roberts. 
He only waited to secure his communications and to make one 
more attempt to capture De Wet and the commandos Attempts t0 
which had escaped from Fouriesburg. Close pursuit capture De 
rendered De Wet's return southward impossible, and 
drove him to adopt what appeared the foolhardy determination to 
push through the Transvaal and join his friends to the north of 
Pretoria. For the moment it seemed that his enterprise must fail, and 
the hope of his capture rose high as he approached the Magaliesberg 
ridge to the west of Pretoria, which still separated him from the 
district in the occupation of De la Rey. There were but three passes over 
the ridge, and they were believed to be in British hands. Methuen 
stopped him on the west, Kitchener and Broadwood were pursuing him 
from the south, Pretoria closed the east. From this desperate position 
however he again managed to extricate himself, and with ex-President 
Steyn, who had constantly accompanied him, escaped from the trap. 
He sent Steyn eastward ; and after awhile found means to return, with 
a few followers, over the mountains into the Orange State. 

De Wet was for the time no longer formidable ; he had lost nearly all 
his baggage and supplies during the long and close Lord Roberts . 
pursuit ; and though De la Rey was still active in the final move- 
west, it was now possible to undertake what was men ' 
regarded as a final movement. General Buller came up from the 
south, while Lord Roberts pushed along the railway line to meet him. 
The same strategy was adopted as on the advance to Pretoria. The 
army, occupying a spread of nearly 30 miles, consisted as before of 
a centre and wings thrown far out to the right and left. It was not 
without some fighting, notably at Bergendal, that the line was gradually 
cleared. On the 28th of August Buller occupied Machadodorp, where 
for many weeks President Kruger and the movable Government of the 
Transvaal had been living in railway carriages, ready as the President 
declared to move westward. On the 30th the British prisoners who had 
been kept at Noitgedacht were liberated, and it was determined to 
advance against Lydenburg, where it had been always thought possible 
that the Boers would make their final stand. Again there was opposition, 
again it faded before flank attacks, and on the 6th of September Lyden- 
burg was occupied. Five days later General Buller was as far north 
as Spitzkop, while more to the south Barberton, the great railway 
junction, was occupied by French. On the 11th President Kruger 


arrived at Lorenzo Marques, having at length despaired of his country 
and determined to withdraw to Europe. Confused fighting still 
continued in man} 7 directions, especially in the west. But the occu- 
pation (September 24) of Komatipoort, the frontier station on the 
railway, and the withdrawal into Portuguese territory of General 
Piennaar with 2000 men marked the close of the first stage of the war. 

In fact Lord Roberts believed, and declared his belief, that the war 
supposed end was ended. It was under this impression that on the 
of the war. 1st of September he had issued an important procla- 

mation pointing out the hopelessness of the Boer cause, and threatening 
strong repressive measures if, the real war being ended, the defence 
should sink into a wild and irregular guerilla warfare. His attitude, 
and his declaration that the war was ended, in the light of sub- 
sequent events was open to much adverse criticism. Yet in fact it 
was true. If by war is meant the struggle of armies bound by the 
habits and practices which attend civilized warfare, the war was at an 
end. But to conquer in a war, and to conquer a brave people 
determined not to be subdued are two very different things. For 
nearly two years longer the whole power of England was kept upon 
the stretch in the effort of its armies to occupy and hold the land 
which they had nominally won. Indeed before that consummation 
could be arrived at, the often repeated demand for unconditional 
surrender had to be withdrawn. It was upon terms by no means 
dishonourable to themselves that the fighting remnant of Boer patriots 
at length accepted the supremacy of Great Britain. 

The second act, if it may be so called, of the war, the gradual 
acquisition and occupation of the country, was left to Lord Kitchener, 
whose complete and elaborate military processes well fitted him for 
such a duty. It was only by the erection of lines of blockhouses, 
connected by thousands of miles of barbed wire entanglement, that the 
conquered country was gradually appropriated. This work, which 
at last convinced the Boers of the impossibility of further resistance and 
led to the conclusion of peace (June 1, 1902), and the still more 
Tnerecon- interesting work of restoration of the devastated 

to r Lord n l6ft country and the repatriation of the captive and exiled 
Miiner. inhabitants, carried out apparently with exemplary 

care and wisdom by Lord Milner and those working under him, do not 
fall within the limits of this history. 

It was in the belief that his work was fully accomplished that Lord 
Lord Roberts' Roberts returned to England ; and it was as the suc- 
return. cessful vindicator of the honour of the empire that he 


was received by the aged Queen. lie came home to have honours 
heaped on him. He was made an earl ; he was given the Order of 
the Garter. He was summoned to a special audience at Windsor. 
Always popular, he now became the darling hero of the people, and 
was received wherever he went with enthusiastic welcome. It was 
not merely his popularity and his success which made his home- 
coming welcome. He was at once to take up the office of Commander- 
in-Chief, which increasing infirmities compelled Lord Wolseley to 
resign, and in that office great things were both hoped and expected 
from him. Successful though on the whole the army had been, there 
had been times of most depressing disaster. Nor could the nation flatter 
itself that the organising authority on which the action of the army 
depended was at all to be trusted. There were incidents enough in 
the course of the war to fill men's minds with a total want of confidence 
in the administration. Even the speeches of Lord Wolseley himself 
tended to the belief that reconstitution in some form „ 

i 1 mi 1 i 11 Expected re- 

or other was much wanted. Ihough he assumed the form at the 
usual official tone in parts of his speeches, declared his 
admiration of what has been done, and his belief in the army system as 
established by Mr. Cardwell, he had admitted the difficulty under which 
the Commander-in-Chief laboured from the subordination of his opinion 
to the exigencies of politics or of the Treasury. As the new Secretary 
at War, Mr. St. John Brodrick, soon after his appointment in November, 
declared that he hoped his own experience as Under Secretary might 
"prove a useful adjunct to those inspirations which, after the greatest 
campaign of our generation, would be afforded him by the greatest 
soldier of our age," it was expected that the voice of the new Com- 
mander-in-Chief would prove more potent in the great process of 
reorganisation than had apparently been the case with his predecessor. 
The delay of the Government to carry out according to promise a 
searching public inquiry into the conduct of the War General eiec- 
Office during the earlier months of the war, caused tion, Oct. 1900. 
much disappointment. Public disapproval was strongly expressed and 
seemed to be increasing ; and in this may probably be found one of 
the reasons which induced Lord Salisbury to dissolve Parliament in 
September, at a moment when circumstances seemed scarcely to 
justify such a step. His majority was still unbroken, and there were 
reasons connected with the registration which should have postponed 
the dissolution. There seemed in fact no real ground for dissolving 
Parliament. Yet the Government can scarcely be blamed for taking 
advantage of any opportunity to secure for themselves a lengthened 


tenure of office in which to complete the war they had begun. It was 
natural that they should wish to stifle under the wave of enthusiasm 
caused by Lord Roberts 1 success the rising voice of discontent at 
the serious miscarriages which from time to time had marked 
the conduct of the war. Therefore, although the dissolution seemed 
unnecessary, for there were practically but few of the opposition 
leaders who were inclined to recommend any other course than the 
prosecution of the war to a triumphant close, the Government suc- 
ceeded in giving to their appeal to the people the character of a 
demand for a fresh mandate to complete the war. It suited the 
Unionists to raise the cry, to which Mr. Chamberlain somewhat un- 
justifiably lent his support, that " to vote against the Government was 
to vote for the Boers," a cry which found an echo in the prevalent 
sentiment, and secured to the party in power a fresh tenure of office 
and a Parliamentary majority of more than 130. 

It was thought advisable to make a few changes in the Ministry. Mr. 
Changes in the St. John Brodrick, who had shown some practical capa- 
Ministry. city and some debating power in his position as Under 

Secretaiy, was placed at the War Office. Lord Selborne, whose love 
of politics had led him at one time to suggest that Peers should if they 
pleased be allowed to seek seats in the Lower House, and who was a 
man of much strong sense, was put at the Admiralty. The world was 
not surprised that Lord Salisbury should confess the approach of age 
and withdraw from the personal charge of the Foreign Office ; but it 
was not without some misgiving and some astonishment that it saw 
the vacant post occupied by Lord Lansdowne, the man whose manage- 
ment of the War Office had certainly not been regarded generally as a 
successful piece of work. The changes necessitated the withdrawal 
from public life of several of the old leaders who had during the 
generation which was passing away played a prominent part among 
the Unionists. Of these the most important was Mr. Goschen, whose 
administration of the Admiralty had always won the approbation 
both of the service and of the country at large, and whose consistent 
maintenance of his own views and courageous and outspoken if 
somewhat perfervid patriotism had gained for him the general respect. 
It was with flattering words of kindness and regret that the Queen 
accepted the retirement of her old and faithful servant, and in a 
touching phrase of sympathy told him that she too was beginning to 
weary of the burden of duty she had so long borne. 

In fact the dark shadow of the approaching end was already closing 
upon the aged Queen. Early in January 1901 she received Lord 

1901] THE QUEEN'S DEATH 269 

Roberts to a second private audience, and, though with some difficulty, 
for several hours found strength to carry on the con- m „ 

n ~ The Queen a 

versation and to hear from him of the great deeds of deatn, Jan. 22, 
her troops. A few days later ominous bulletins warned 190U 
the nation of its approaching loss, and on the 22nd the sad news 
was spread that the life of the great Queen had ended. Never 
perhaps did the death of a Monarch call forth such deep-felt and 
personal sorrow. 

The extraordinary success with which, in a way which finds no 
parallel in the history of crowned heads, she had managed to take her 
people into her confidence and to make them the sharers of her sorrows 
and joys, had endeared her to every class of the nation. Her ready 
sympathy with every form of distress, and the kind and gracious words 
with which she had associated herself with many instances of even 
private sorrow, had touched in a very peculiar manner the domestic 
sentiment so strong among the English people. There was scarcely a 
family which did not feel as though they had lost a relative or friend. 
The strange, almost inexplicable, feeling of loyalty found in her an 
object on which it could lavish itself without that touch of incongruity 
which so often attends it, and could gather fresh food even in an age 
when criticism is apt to undermine all sentiment. 

The Queen's power of exciting and feeling sympathy, though an 
invaluable element of greatness in a constitutional Appreciation 
monarch, was by no means her only gift. It was of the Queen, 
alluded to by all the statesmen whose duty it was to give utterance to 
the national feeling when the new Parliament assembled. But in 
every case there was mingled with it a recognition of the greatness 
of the Queen in the execution of her duties as a ruler. The world is 
too ready to confuse the constitutional monarch with the roi faineant, 
to regard him as an ornamental appendage, whose duties are chiefly 
social, and whose energies are wasted in bestowing an air of grace and 
dignity to national celebrations and traditional ceremonies ; the real 
work of government is, according to common belief, entirely in the 
hands of the responsible Ministers. If this is ever true, it was certainly 
not true in the case of Queen Victoria. The work of the constitutional 
monarch is of necessity behind the veil ; it is none the less vast in 
amount and charged with the gravest importance. It is only now and 
then, when a biography of some great Minister or intimate friend of 
the sovereign affords a passing glimpse of the inner working of the 
Government, that the true position of the Head of the Empire is made 
known to the world. Such a revelation comes as a surprise. The 


amount of labour required of the sovereign and the influence which he 
is able to exert, are nothing short of astonishing. No monarch ever 
discharged the onerous duties of the crown more conscientiously or 
more loyally than Queen Victoria. She was kept informed of all 
the intricacies of party warfare. Day by day the Prime Minister was 
required to furnish her with a written account of the political situation 
and of the course of the debates in Parliament. Every paper oi 
importance was laid before her. And with her it was no mere 
question of the appending of her signature; she required of her 
servants an exact and complete explanation of every subject presented 
to her. There was no step taken, whatever the complexion of the 
Ministry might be, without her full knowledge. There was no difficulty 
in which she was not consulted ; there were few in which her advice 
was not of the greatest value. Again and again hitches in the Cabinet 
were smoothed out by her resourceful suggestions ; more than once the 
knots of international diplomacy were unravelled by her skill. And 
although she was consistently faithful to that Ministry which the desire 
of the nation had for the time placed in office, there is no question but 
that their action was influenced by her personal opinion, and by the 
wisdom which was the fruit of her long experience. 

It was with a deep recognition of this side of the Queen's character 
Mr Balfour's ^ at ^" Balfour, m moving the Address in reply to a 
speech. message from the King, closed his speech with these 

words : " It is not given to a constitutional monarch to 
signalise his reign by any great isolated action. The effect of a con- 
stitutional sovereign, great as it is, is produced by the slow, constant, 
and cumulative results of a great ideal and a great example; and 
of that great ideal and that great example Queen Victoria surely 
was the first of all constitutional monarchs whom the world has 
yet seen." After dwelling impressively on her life of continuous 
labour, he added : " Short as was the interval between the last public 
document and her final rest, it was yet long enough to clog the 
wheels of administration; and when I saw the vast mass of un- 
touched documents which awaited the hand of the sovereign of this 
country to deal with, it was brought vividly before my mind how 
admirable was the unostentatious patience with which for sixty-three 
years, through sorrow, through suffering, in moments of weariness, in 
moments it may be of despondency, she carried on without intermission 
her share in the government of this great empire. She had her 
reward in the undying affection and immemorial recollection of all her 
subjects. She passed away without an enemy in the world, for even 


those who loved not England loved her. No such reign, no such 
ending has been known in our history before." 

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman, in seconding the motion, alluded 
to the personal character of the Queen. " There was campbeii- 
between her and her people a friendly, tender, almost Bannerman. 
familiar, mutual understanding, which it is almost impossible to put into 
words. Who can measure the strength which the existence of a 
relation such as this between the Sovereign and her people must have 
given through all these years to this kingdom and this empire? " 

Lord Rosebeiy, in speaking to the governors of the Royal Scottish 
Hospital in London, on the 30th of January, said : 
" I venture to say that there is not an intelligent home 
throughout the world that has not been profoundly moved by the death 
of this illustrious woman. Probably every subject in Great Britain 
realises that he has lost his greatest and his best friend. But they do 
not understand of what enormous weight in the councils of the world 
we are deprived by the death of our late Sovereign." And then after 
speaking of her vast personal influence in every country in Europe, he 
asked, " Can we not realise, then, what a force the personal influence 
of such a Sovereign must have been in the troubled councils of Europe ? 
And when, as we know, that influence was always given for peace, for 
freedom, and for good government, we feel that not merely ourselves 
but all the world has lost one of its best friends. She saw that the 
essential dignity of the throne does not lie in pomps and palaces, but in 
the dignity of supreme example ; and the watchwords of her life, so far 
as we could discern them, were duty and sympathy." 

Her personal and religious character was well summed up by the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, speaking in the House of Archbishop of 
Lords on the 25th of January. "For myself it is canterbury, 
impossible to look back over her reign without a deep sense of gratitude 
to God for having given us such a Sovereign to reign over us, a 
Sovereign whose powers of statesmanship and powers of advising those 
who had the government in their hands have been already spoken of, 
but whose influence as a woman, and I may add as a truly religious 
woman,. was far greater than anything which could be exercised by the 
wisest statesman. Her influence, the character of her Court, the 
character of the domestic life (of which her subjects were allowed to 
know something) had a penetrating power which reached far beyond 
the possibility of our being able to trace it. There can be no question 
that all society has been the better because the Queen has reigned." 

The striking words of Lord Salisbury form a fitting close to this 


chorus of appreciative love and admiration. " We owe her gratitude in 
Lord saiis- every direction, for her influence in elevating the people, 

bury 's speech. f or jj er power with foreign Courts and Sovereigns to 
remove difficulties and misapprehension which sometimes might have 
been dangerous ; but above all things we owe her gratitude for this, 
that by a happy dispensation her reign has coincided with that great 
change which has come over the political structure of this country and 
the political instincts of its people. She has bridged over that great 
interval which separates old England from new England. Other 
nations may have had to pass through similar trials, but have seldom 
passed through them so peaceably, so easily, and with so much 
prosperity and success as we have. I think that future historians will 
look to the Queen's reign as the boundary which separates the two 
states of England, England which has changed so much, and recognise 
that we have undergone the change with constant increase of public 
prosperity, without any friction to endanger the peace or stability of 
our civil life, and at the same time with a constant expansion of an 
empire which every year grows more and more powerful. We owe all 
these blessings to the tact, the wisdom, the passionate patriotism, and 
the incomparable judgment of the Sovereign whom we deplore." 

It is consonant with her readiness to apprehend the national feeling, 
The Queen as so we ^ described by Lord Salisbury, that the imperial 
Empress. instinct had of late years been strongly roused in her. 

She loved to think of herself as the Empress of India. The growth 
and expansion of the empire appealed to her closely, and whatever 
may have been her personal sorrows or her personal weariness, the last 
year of her life must have been full of satisfaction to her as a Queen. 
Almost the last Bill to which she put her signature was that for creating 
the great Commonwealth of Australia. The position of England in 
South Africa must have appeared to her assured. Her two great 
Jubilees of 1887 and 1897 had foreshadowed the close connection of 
the Colonies with the mother country, which the events of the Boer 
War had so thoroughly realised. The risk, which we cannot but 
suppose to have been great in her eyes, of some disturbance at least in 
the unity of the empire by the triumph of Home Rule, seemed to have 
disappeared. She had been able to visit Ireland in the spring of 1900 
and to receive there a friendly, almost enthusiastic, welcome ; while her 
reception in her state progresses through London must have told her 
very plainly how deep-rooted and sincere was the love of her people, 
how strong the first link in the chain which bound the empire together. 

The eloquent words of those to whose lot it fell to express the 


national feeling on the Queen's death were conceived in an optimistic 
spirit befitting the solemn occasion. A spirit of hope causes for 
and self-reliance well becomes the leaders of a people anxiety, 
at the opening of a new era. Yet there are certain facts in nearly every 
sphere of English life which must lead the observer to ask himself 
whether the late reign, great as it was, is to be regarded as a beginning 
or as an end ; whether it marks a step in the development of even 
greater progress, or the summit of achievement in which signs of 
deterioration are already visible. The enormous increase of the 
empire, and the incredible accumulation of wealth, are themselves causes 
of deep anxiety. Whether Great Britain is still capable of expanding, or 
even of maintaining its existing expansion, or whether the hour has 
arrived when, as in other empires, the very greatness of its acquisitions 
and its wealth tends to overstrain its strength, and leads towards a 
course of decadence, is a question not to be hurriedly decided. 

The province of history is neither to prophesy nor to encourage, but 
to note characteristic facts and tendencies. The one signs of 
thing which makes itself obvious in the closing years of reaction, 
the late reign is the setting in of a strong tide of reaction, visible in nearly 
every branch of life. It is impossible to say whether this arises from a 
wise effort to check the over rapid growth of democracy, or merely from 
the swing of the pendulum and the reversion of popular feeling to the 
ordinary unthinking impulses of human nature, after a period dominated 
by principles often abstract in character and requiring much thought 
for their comprehension. The existence of the reaction however 
remains a fact. Ambition and the love of rule, belief in extended 
empire, in restricted and selfish commerce, in the superiority of a 
military life, in the value and importance of the privileged classes, 
and the substitution of symbolism for higher spiritual creeds, are 
marked characteristics of the time, and are exactly those things which 
the last century prided itself on having left behind. 

The desire for the acquisition of territory, the belief in the advantages 
of extended, rather than concentrated and well-ruled ■ 

• ., . Desire for 

dominion, which prevailed in the eighteenth century, increased 
has again made its appearance. Spheres of influence, territory - 
chartered companies, annexation of savage lands, reappear as promi- 
nent features of political life. The public has again become nervously 
sensitive at any fancied loss of prestige, a well-known feature of what is 
generally spoken of as a bygone time. The whole system of commercial 
economy has begun to be questioned. The free-trade doctrines, under 
which the country has grown great, are spoken of in the leading organs 

VICT. t 


of the Press as " antiquated shibboleths." The principles of the great 
financiers, who for many years have been regarded with practical unani- 
mity as unquestioned authorities, are forced again to pass through the 
crucible of inquiry. The exclusion, as far as possible, of foreign competi- 
tion is becoming a widespread object of desire. Nor is this exclusive- 
ness confined to commerce. Those very combinations which had their 
origin in the democratic desire for the improvement of the working 
classes have in too many instances become institutions directed chiefly 
to the shortening of the working hours of the favoured few, and the 
exclusion from employment of all who decline to join their societies. 

But perhaps the most obvious signs of the reaction are to be found 
importance of m tne changed relation between the two Houses of 
the Lords. Parliament, and in the attitude of the English Church. 

Only a few years before the close of the reign it was a fixed belief that 
the centre of political power lay entirely in the House of Commons. 
So completely was this the case, that any opposition on the part of the 
Lords came almost as a surprise, and elicited the strongest denuncia- 
tions. The abolition or the thorough reform of the Upper House was 
thought to be the best party cry for a general election. Under the 
skilful hands of Lord Salisbury the position has been largely changed. 
Places of trust abroad have been uniformly placed in the hands of 
young noblemen ; the most important posts in the Ministry are held by 
members of the Upper House. Its constitutional position has been 
completely vindicated. Whether for good or evil the political power 
of the privileged class has been restored. Unquestionably the estima- 
tion of the House of Commons has been lowered ; obstruction, disorder, 
the want of party discipline, and the disintegration of parties, have gone 
far to deprive it of its commanding position. It is unfortunate that the 
influence thus lost has passed into the hands of a class which represents 
little except property, and that thus there seems some danger of the 
constitution degenerating into a mere plutocracy. Going hand in hand 
with the vast accumulation of wealth, this political movement has pro- 
duced a state of things in which the mere possession of riches has 
become a source of political and social power. 

When the majority of the English clergy are avowedly determined to 
Attitude of the reproduce the ritual of the seventeenth century or of an 
church. earlier time, when a considerable number even of the 

laity reject with indignation the time-honoured appellation of Protestant, 
it is needless to enlarge upon the reactionary spirit which is visible in 
the Church of England. It would appear to be a natural consequence 
of this, that in spite of many well-meant efforts of individual prelates 


and clergymen to soften the line which separates the Christian churches, 
there was never a period when the antagonism between the English 
Church and the Nonconformists was more strongly marked. It does 
not tend to the healing of this dislocation that a large body of en- 
lightened Churchmen have adopted in many respects the liberal views 
which marked the Broad Church in the middle, of the last century. 
Liberality of doctrine and of criticism are useless as solvents of 
religious differences so long as they go hand-in-hand with medieval 
ritual and claims to exclusive privilege. 

Another point which must be noticed, and which is probably depen- 
dent upon the increased wealth of the country, is the Love of 
extraordinary love of amusement. It is difficult to resist amusement, 
the belief that this excited pursuit of relaxation has been accompanied 
with a loss of serious interest in the more real work of life. The steady 
perseverance which comes from a keen interest in the work in hand, what- 
ever the work may be, appears to be lessening. Work seems to be 
regarded chiefly as an evil, to be limited to certain not very long hours, 
the remainder of the day and night being devoted to amusement. Pro- 
bably in gay society this has been always more or less the case ; a black 
mark has always been set against what is called "shop.' 1 But the 
sharp line dividing the real objects of life, the labour and employment 
by which men live, from those lighter pursuits which are supposed to 
make life more pleasant, has been constantly extended, and has been 
adopted by class after class until it has now reached the ordinary 
working man. The effect of this has been remarkable. The love of 
pleasure and excitement, acting in connectipn with some other causes, 
has played a great part in changing the entire character of English 
rural life ; the agricultural labourer of the last century has almost dis- 
appeared. There are many villages in which young men or even men 
of middle age are scarcely to be found ; the work is carried on by old 
men, and by lads waiting their opportunit} 7 to follow their predecessors 
into the cities. The fresh young countrymen appear to find no difficulty 
in getting good and lucrative employment in the cities. But there seems 
to be a considerable body of evidence to support the view that town 
life produces in them a gradual deterioration, and that after a few 
generations they become weak and puny. The evil is one which 
reproduces itself; it is the place of the weakling which is occupied by 
the new arrival, while his predecessor is too apt to slide into the class 
which just keeps itself alive in casual employment, or lower still either 
by unfitness or unwillingness to work into the class of the habitually 
unemployed. The tendency to drift away from the country to the 


towns seems irresistible ; the efforts constantly made to replace the 
labourer on the soil have hitherto proved ineffective. 

Desertion of . , , . . 

country for Taken together with the changed conditions of agri- 

culture, and the fall of prices consequent upon foreign 
competition, it has gone far to deprive England of its character as 
an agricultural country, and still further to confirm it in its position 
as a great industrial centre depending entirely upon its manufactures 
and its trade. 

A smaller but not unimportant sign of the reaction towards the 
Admiration for habits of P ast times is to be found in the change which 
military life. ] ias taken place in the estimation of the military life. 
No doubt this is largely due to the outbreak of a considerable war. War, 
which is in fact a return to the crudest forms of savage life, addresses 
itself with extraordinary power to the commonest sentiments and 
passions of mankind. The craft and skill of the warrior, his strength 
and endurance, speak directly to that very large part of man's nature 
which has immediate reference to his physical frame. The warlike 
temperament is ingrained in the English nation, and in times of peace 
finds its expression in the mimic warfare of those athletic sports which, 
whether wisely or unwisely, fill so large a space in the interests of the 
ordinary Englishman. But civilisation, the introduction, that is, of 
mind into the life of society, tends to relegate to its proper place this 
essentially physical attraction. It begins to be recognised, as civilisation 
advances, that the arts of peace as they are called, the management of 
men and the conquest of the forces of nature, stand altogether upon a 
higher plane. The duty 0/ defence, and the virtues which are called 
out by war, are acknowledged, the great military deeds of their ancestors 
play an ennobling and inspiriting part in the formation of patriotic 
citizens ; but war is regarded as an unmitigated evil, and the actual 
profession of arms as a necessary but not very desirable branch in the 
general system of division of labour. England had advanced far on this 
line of thought. To many minds it was felt that the greatest misfortune 
which could happen to the country would have been the introduction 
of what was spoken of as Continental militarism. England did not 
stand alone in this. The very countries which felt obliged to maintain 
them, were conscious that these vast armaments were an anachronism. 
At the instigation of the Czar of Russia an important Conference was 
held at the Hague, with the hope of making possible the diminution of 
armies and the establishment of arbitration. Though some regulation 
of the methods of war tending to lessen its miseries resulted, and 
though the general desire to avoid war produced a machinery by which 


its outbreak might occasionally be avoided, the effect of the Confer- 
ence was not very pronounced. It was evident that war 

J L . Failure of the 

was still at times inevitable. Unfortunately just such a Hague con- 
war, which to the majority appeared inevitable, and 
which called out a general enthusiasm and self-devotion unknown for 
several generations, obliterated for the time the more thoughtful view. 
The excellence of the military life has become a constant theme for 
eulogy. Conscription has been freely talked of, not only as necessary 
but as desirable, and men have fallen back to what must be regarded 
as an opinion properly belonging to the Middle Ages, that the highest 
and noblest of professions is that of a soldier. 

Taking a wider view, the changed position of England among the 
countries of the world is striking. Prosperity has changed posi- 
produced its inevitable results. The earliest country ot^?coiuJ 
to make use of its natural advantages and its political tries, 
circumstances, England had become the workshop of the world. Its 
coal and iron, its easy command of the powers of distribution, and a 
period of inventive industry fostered by the self-confidence consequent 
upon the position won in the European wars, and subsequently fed by 
its advantageous fiscal system, had secured for England an unquestioned 
pre-eminence as a manufacturing nation. But neither inventive 
industry nor the skill of the craftsman is the monopoly of any one 
country. Success engenders both rivalry and imitation. One nation 
after another found it possible to create for itself those articles for 
which it was once dependent upon England, and not only to supply 
its own wants, but to enter into competition in the markets of the world. 
Rapidity and ease of locomotion has moreover tended to equalise 
natural advantages. If the liberal and sagacious principles of universal 
free-trade have found but little favour and few followers, an exclusive 
fiscal policy has at least attracted capital to protected industries, and 
thus supplied further means for carrying on the commercial rivalry. 
England now stands only as one among many great manufacturing 
nations. It may be perhaps (though this cannot be said with certainty) 
that in this new attitude England has been too much inclined to rest 
on its old successes, to ignore the constant onward movement necessary 
if it is to hold its own in this new position, and to give too little attention 
to the new powers with which education and science invest the practical 
pursuit of industrial invention. Though the bulk of British commerce 
is still enormous, though the shipping business of the world is largely 
in British hands, it is undeniable that the ingenuity of the Anglo- 
Saxon has found its highest expression of late years in America, 


and that it is in Germany that industrial science has found its chief 

These facts have for some time been apparent, and have naturally 
value of the disquieted the minds of thinking men. And apart from 
colonies. ^\ ie obvious advantages to be derived from improved 

education at home, to many men there has appeared to be an 
advantage of which England has as yet scarcely made trial in the 
vast extension of her colonial dominion. It is this which lies at the 
bottom of that imperial idea of which so much has been said, and in 
the name of which so much is suggested. At the close of the reign 
of Queen Victoria the idea was still unformulated. The value set upon 
the colonies had varied much. There had been times when to all 
appearance the prevalent feeling was weariness at the necessity of 
ruling them, and a desire to get rid, as far as possible, of all responsi- 
bility connected with them. This feeling took shape in the policy of 
seif-govem- giving the colonies the largest rights of self-govern- 
ment given to ment that were compatible with a maintenance of the 
union. The policy proved to be a wise one. Much of 
the immediate responsibility of the Home Government was removed; 
measures of detail, often a cause of friction, were settled by the colonies 
themselves. At the same time their more independent attitude lent 
itself to an increase of general prosperity. At a subsequent time the 
carelessness with which colonial interests had been regarded gave 
place to a somewhat higher appreciation of their value, which increased 
as the idea of the imperial responsibility of England began to gain 
ground. The practical form given to this change of view was closely 
analogous to that which had preceded it. It was indeed impossible to 
go backward, or in any way diminish the large measure of self-govern- 
ment which had been already granted. The efforts of those who were 
most interested in the matter were directed to grouping in federations 
those colonies which had hitherto been isolated, and thus forming 
what were, in all but in name, independent states. It was found 
possible to remove the difficulties which beset such a scheme, both 
in the case of the Dominion of Canada and the Commonwealth of 
Australia. Racial jealousy had proved an impassable obstacle in the 
way of a similar success in South Africa. 

The outbreak of the South African War afforded a proof that the 
Loyalty of the policy pursued by England had been successful in attach- 
coionies. ing the colonies to the mother country. The constitu- 

tional freedom so largely granted had not been a useless gift. The 
great self-governing colonies vied with each other in their readiness to 


assist in supplying the need of Great Britain. Their volunteer troops 

won for themselves the character of first-rate military material. It 

was only natural that this fine exhibition of loyalty should lend 

strength to the idea of the value and possibility of a great unified 

British empire. 

It is not at first sight clear to the ordinary onlooker how colonial 

federation can lead to the realisation of the hopes of _ . ., . , 

Doubtful aa- 

advanced imperialists. Surrounded by a group of self- vantages of 

governing states with only the slightest constitutional 
connection with the mother country, the exercise of imperial authority 
by Great Britain in any real sense would seem to be impossible. At 
best the empire must be merely a federation of states, in which Great 
Britain may for a while hold the first place. Such federations do not 
come into existence unless reciprocal advantages can be acquired by 
the federated states. If Great Britain is to maintain a really imperial 
position, the motive for closer union as far as the colonies are con- 
cerned does not appear a strong one. They already possess in fact 
all the advantages of independence ; the mother country has little or 
nothing more to give them except a name. The sacrifices which such 
a federation imply would fall wholly on the colonies. And, beyond the 
sentiment of empire, the feeling of brotherhood, and that elevation 
which attends the consciousness of membership of a great nation, there 
seems nothing particularly attractive in being called upon to contribute 
largely towards the general defence, or to change fiscal arrangements 
to suit the mother country, or to take the risk of being involved in 
complications arising from events on the other side of the world. On 
the other hand, if a federation of a more equal character is desired, 
it does not seem an attractive programme for the mother country that, 
for the purpose of maintaining its predominant position in the world, 
which may or may not be threatened, it should surrender some of its 
deepest convictions, and change systems on which it has grown great, 
with the doubtful advantage of remaining the head of a federation in 
which the very fact that these changes have been forced upon it will 
already have shown that it no longer holds an unquestioned pre- 

Means may perhaps be found to obviate the apparent obstacles and 
to establish between England and its self-governing T he British 
colonies different relations to those now existing. If empire. 
so, and if a united empire, whether distinctly federative or of any other 
sort, comes into existence, the close of the reign of Queen Victoria will 
be the close of a complete page of history. In the future it will be the 


British Empire and not Great Britain which will occupy the attention 
of the historian. The words of necessity imply a momentous change. 
It remains to be seen whether the movement, which aiming 
apparently at resuscitating on the broadest basis a national life 
which in its present form has reached its culminating point and is 
in risk of sinking, will succeed at all; and granting that it suc- 
ceeds, whether it will bring with it sooner or later that sort of dis- 
integration which, as the lessons of history seem to show, attends the 
removal of the seat of national life from the centre to the extremities, 
or whether it will create a still vaster and nobler world-power than 
Great Britain has as yet ever been. 


Abbas, Khedive of Egypt, 164. 

Abdul Harnid II., Goschen's mission to, 

34 ; his tone of injured innocence, 35 ; 

protests against interference in Egypt, 

41 ; Sir E. Malet requests him to use his 

authority, 43 ; joins the Conference, 43 ; 

reconciled to English occupation, 75 ; 

feels obliged to repress the Armenians, 

207 ; disregards the threats of Europe, 

207, 208 ; refuses reforms, 209 ; issues a 

scheme, 209 ; Salisbury's Guildhall speech 

on, 209 ; his reply, 210 ; compelled to 

graut Crete a constitution, 211, 212. 
Abdurahman, established as Ameer, 33 ; 

vigour of, 157 ; his great ability, 228 ; 

suspicions as to his honesty, 229 ; calls 

himself King of Islam, 231. 
Aberdeen, Lord, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 

Aboukir Bay, Wolseley in, 44. 
Abu Klea, battle of, 50. 
Abyssinia, the Italian war with, 214. 
Acland, Arthur, Vice-President of the 

Council of Education, 162, 180. 
Acton Homes, Buller proposes to advance 

by, 253 ; Warren objects, 254. 
Acts of Parliament — 

Agricultural Bating, 1896, 193; 

Allotment, 1891, 137 ; 

Arms, 1881, 9-13; 

Arrears, 1882, 26-28 ; 

Ashbourne, 1885, 75 ; extended, 1888, 

Board of Education, 1899, 192 ; 

Board Schools, necessitous, 1897, 192 ; 

Criminal Law Amendment, 1887, 103-106 ; 

Education, Robson's, 193; 

Franchise, 1884, 60-67 ; 

Free education, 1891, 137, 138 ; 

Government of London, 1888, 121 ; 1899, 
194, 195; 

Land, Irish, 1881, 13-19 ; 1887, 106, 107 ; 
1890, 131-134; 1896, 200-202; 

Local Government, 1888, 120, 121 ; 

Local Government, Ireland, 1898, 202, 
203 ; 

Local Taxation, 1890, 136, 137 ; 

Military Manoeuvres, 1896, 196 ; 

Military Works, 1897, 196 ; 

Parish Councils, 1894, 172-176 ; 

Prevention of Crime, 1882, 26, 27 ; 


Acts of Parliament (continued) — 
Protection of Property, 1881, 9-13; 
Redistribution, 1884, 63-67 ; 
Small Holdings, 1892, 142 ; 
Tithes, 1891, 135, 136 ; 
Voluntary Schools, 1897, 191 ; 
Workmen's Compensation, 1897, 193, 194 ; 
Workmen's houses, 193. 

Adowa, battle of, 214. 

Afghanistan, change of policy towards, 33, 
67 ; delimitation of the frontier, 70, 71, 
75 ; Lord Salisbury's policy towards, 
148 ; Lord Dufferin, success in, 157 ; 
difficulties in, 189 ; position of the frontier 
tribes, 228-230. 

Africa, colonising mania in, 59, 151, 152 ; 
chartered companies in, 153, 154, 163, 177, 
217, 236-238, 242; disputes with Portugal 
in, 152, 153; disputes with Germany in, 
154,155; disputes with France in, 210- 
219 ; the Ashantee War, 187, 188 ; Basu- 
toland, 59 ; Bechuanaland, 56-59, 177, 
236 ; the Boer War, 234-266 ; the Congo 
State, 60, 154, 155 ; Matabele wars, 177, 
178 ; 242 ; Mashonaland, 177, 234, 237, 
242 ; Natal difficulties, 58, 59 ; Transvaal, 
54-58, 68 ; 235-246; Zululand, 59, 249. 

Africanders, 58, 235, 236. 

Afridis, the, 228, 231, 232. 

Agrarian outrages, 6, 11, 21, 22, 24, 25, 29- 
32 ; 104, 105. 

Agricultural Department established in 
Ireland, 203. 

Agricultural franchise, 34, 60-62, 76, 80, 
139, 140, 189. 

Agricultural Rating Act, 193. 

Akasheh, Kitchener at, 214. 

Akers-Douglas, First Commissioner of 
Works, 186. 

Alaska sold to America, 160. 

Albania, National League in, 34-36. 

Alexander VI., Bull of. 204. 

Alexandria, riots in, 42 ; bombardment of, 
43 ; effect of the riots, 52, 53. 

Algeria, French colonies in, 217. 

Alien Act, modified, 26. 

Aliwal, Colonel Brabant at, 200. 

Allotment Act, 137. 

Allotments, Jesse Collins' motion on, 87 ; 
Mr. Chaplin's views of, 140. 

America, fishery quarrel with, 158, 159 ; 



seal fishery quarrel with, 160 ; the Vene- 
zuela boundary dispute, 204-206. 

Amusement, love of, 275, 276. 

Arabi, revolts, 39 ; Minister of War, 40 ; 
plot to murder, 42 ; his triumph, 42 ; 
supported by Turkey, 40, 43 ; fortifies 
Alexandria, 43 ; defeated and taken 
prisoner, 45 ; banished to Ceylon, 47. 

Araujuez, treaty of, 204. 

Arbitration, in the Newfoundland fishery 
disputes, 150; in the Seal fishery dispute, 
1G0 ; in the Venezuela boundary dispute, 
206 ; Kruger demands, 243. 

Ardagh, disturbance at, 127. 

Argyll, Duke of, Lord Privy Seal, 1 ; op- 
poses the Land Bill, 14 ; opposes Home 
Rule, 170 ; opposes Employers' Liability 
Bill, 174. 

Armaments, increase of European, 148, 
]49; Gladstone's dislike of, 182 ; increase 
of the navy, 149, 182, 196 ; an anachro- 
nism, 276. 

Armenia, raided by the Kurds, 34, 189 ; 
Turkish atrocities in, 207-210, 230. 

Arms Bill, 9-13. 

Army, Wolseley demands reform of, 149 ; 
considered sufficient, 149 ; reorganisation 
of the War Office, 196; lavish expendi- 
ture on, 1 97 ; insufficient for the Boer 
War, 248, 251, 252; improvement of, 
258 ; admiration for, 276, 277. 

Arrears, clause in the Land Bill on, 17 ; 
Parnell's amendment on, 18, 19 ; Red- 
mond's Bill on, 23; Parnell's letter to 
O'Shea on, 24, 25 ; Gladstone's Bill on, 
26, 28 ; clause in Balfour's Land Bill on, 
106, 107 ; Parnell's amendment on, 119. 

Ashanti, war in, 187-189. 

Ashbourne, Lord, Lord Chancellor of Ire- 
land, 74 ; his Land Bill, 75 ; Lord 
Chancellor of Ireland, 98, 186. 

Ashbourne Act, 75 ; extended, 124 ; its 
usefulness, 125, 126; contrasted with 
Arthur Balfour's, 132, 133; contrasted 
with Gerald Balfour's, 201. 

Asquith, Herbert, moves vote of want of 
confidence, 146 ; Home Secretary, 162 ; 
allows meetings in Trafalgar Square, 163 ; 
Home Secretary, 180. 

Atbara, battle of, 215. 

Australia, ambition checked by Home 
Government, 59, 78; Commonwealth 
established, 187, 197-199. 

Austria, Triple Alliance with Germany and 
Italy, 148 ; refuses to join the Concert of 
Europe, 207, 208 ; deserts Crete, 213. 

Baden-Powell, Colonel, at Mafeking, 
262, 263. 

Baker, General Valentine, organises the 
Egyptian constabulary, 47 ; at Tokar, 48, 

Balfour, Arthur, President of Local Gov- 
ernment Board, 74; Chief Secretary 

for Ireland, 98 ; First Lord of the Trea- 
sury, 98 ; introduces Criminal Law 
Amendment Bill, 104 ; quoted, 105 ; en- 
forces the Crimes Act, 107, 118, 122 ; 
treats political offenders as ordinary 
criminals, 108, 119; shows diminution of 
crimes in Ireland, 118 ; exasperation 
against him, 119, 122 ; his social improve- 
ments in Ireland, 125, 126 ; introduces 
the Land Purchase Bill, 131, 132 ; 
acknowledges help from Irish leaders, 
134 ; his successful administration, 135 ; 
resigns the Irish Secretaryship and be- 
comes leader of the House, 141 ; intro- 
duces Irish Local Government Bill, 
141, 142 ; opposes Home Rule, 168 ; 
First Lord of the Treasury, 186 ; accepts 
the Lords' amendments on the Govern- 
ment of London Bill, 195 ; his policy in 
Egypt, 214 ; his policy in China, 221 ; 
his appreciation of the Queen quoted, 
270, 271. 

Balfour, Gerald, Chief Secretary for Ireland, 
186 ; President of the Board of Trade, 
186 ; introduces his Land Bill, 200, 201 ; 
introduces the Irish Local Government 
Bill, 202 ; his skill and character, 203, 204. 

Balfour of Burleigh, Chief Secretary for 
Scotland, 186. 

Barberton, occupied by General French, 265. 

Barua, on Lake Chad, 217. 

Bayard, American Minister, 159. 

Beaconsfield, Lord, his letter to the Duke of 
Marlborough, 4 ; his warning as to Irish 
rents, 5 ; his approval of a Land Court, 
15 ; his love of prestige, 32 ; his imperial 
ideas, 77, 148. 

Bechuanaland, under protection, 56 ; the 
frontiers settled, 57 ; made a Crown 
colony, 58, 59 ; invaded by the Matabeles, 
177 ; enlarged, 236, 239. 

Belfast, Lord Randolph Churchill's visit to, 
99 ; riots in, 99. 

Belgium, founds the Congo State, 154 ; diffi- 
culties with France, 218. 

Belmont, battle of, 251. 

Beluchistan, delimitation of the frontier, 

Berber, the route to Khartoum, 50-52. 

Beresford, Lord Charles, desires increase of 
the navy, 149. 

Bergendal, battle at, 265. 

Berlin, a conference at, 34, 36. 

Berlin Treaty, enforced, 33-36 ; modified, 
148 ; Lord Kimberley's attempt to en- 
force, 207, 208 ; Lord Salisbury's attempt 
to enforce, 209-211. 

Bessborough Commission, 14. 

Bethulie bridge, saved, 260. 

Biggar, Irish Member, 10. 

Biggarsberg, General Buller occupies, 260. 

Bindon-Blood, General, in the Swat Valley, 

Bipert, Armenians massacred in, 210. 

Bismarck, his policy of isolating France, 
148, 150 ; supports German expansion in 
Africa, 154, 



Blantyre, missionaries at, 153. 

Blockhouses, success of, 266. 

Bloemfoutein, conference at, 245-247 ; Lord 
Roberts occupies, 256, 260, 261. 

Blunt, Sir Wilfred, imprisoned, 108. 

Bodyke, Davitt at, 107 

Boers, oppose annexation, 54, 55 ; obulu 
self-government, 56-58 ; character of, 
235-237, 266 ; Lord Milner's opinion of, 

Bombay, the plague at, 233. 

Botha, General, his attempt against Pretoria, 
264, 265. 

Boulogne, conference of Irish leaders at, 
129, 130. 

Boycotting, origin of, 7 ; Forster's experi- 
ence of, 81 ; necessary to stop it, 86 ; 
condemned by the Church, 127. 

Brabant, Colonel, occupies Wepener, 260 ; 
besieged, 262; defends the frontier, 263. 

Brand, President of the Orange State, 55. 

Brassey, Lord, desires increase of the navy, 

Bright, John, Chancellor of Duchy of Lan- 
caster, 1 ; supports Gladstone, 10 ; his 
resignation, 90, 91. 

British Guiana, boundary dispute, 204, 205. 

Broad wood, Colonel, at Sannah's Post, 260 ; 
pursues De Wet, 265. 

Brodrick, St. John, lis motion on the supply 
of cordite, 185 ; War Secretary, 186 ; 
quoted, 267 ; his practical capacity, 268. 

Bryce, James, Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, 162 ; President of the Board of 
Trade, 180. 

Bulawayo, Lobengula's capital, 177 ; rail- 
way to, 239 ; Cecil Rhodes in, 242. 

Bulgaria, formation of, 148. 

Buller, Sir Redvers, in Ireland, 100; Com- 
mander-in-Chief in Natal, 251 ; at Co- 
lenso, 252, 253 ; at Spion Kop, 253-255 ; 
at Vaalkrantz, 255; relieves Ladysmith, 
256-260 ; enters the Transvaal, 260 ; joins 
Lord Roberts, 264 ; occupies Machado- 
dorp and Spitzkop, 265. 

Bulwana, mountain, 259. 

Burke, Under-Secretary for Ireland, mur- 
dered, 26 ; Parnell accused of counte- 
nancing the murder, 105, 123, 124. 

Burmah, annexation of, 156, 157. 

Burns, John, at Trafalgar Square, 112; 
imprisoned, 112. 

Cadogan, Lorp, his amendment on the 
Franchise Bill, 64, 65; Lord Privy Seal, 
98 ; Lord-Lieutenant for Ireland, 186. 

Cairns, Lord, his amendment on the Land 
Bill, 18 ; his amendment on the Fran- 
chise Bill, 64. 

Caisse. in the Egyptian finance, 38, 52, 53. 

Calcutta, native congress at, 157, 158. 

Cambridge, Duke of, resigns, 196. 

Campbell-Bannerman, Sir Henry, Secretary 

for Ireland, 1 ; War Secretary, 88, 162, 
180 ; bis speech on the Cordite motion, 
185 ; his appreciation of the Queen, 27l. 

Canada, dispute as to Newfoundland fish- 
eries, 150, 151 ; imperial authority over, 
151, 156 ; fishery dispute with America, 
158 ; Chamberlain's visit to, 159 ; a treaty 
made and abandoned, 159, 160; settle- 
ment of seal-fishery dispute, 160 ; its 
government imitated, 197 ; sends troops 
to the Boer War, 197, 253, 256. 

Canning, George, suggests the Monroe doc- 
trine, 205. 

Cape Colony, the Africander Bond in, 58 ; 
racial difficulties in, 235 ; iuvaded, 247 ; 
the Dutch in, 251. 

Capitulations, privileges of foreigners in 
Egypt, 38, 39 

Cardwell. success of his army reforms, 44 ; 
Lord Wolseley believes in, 267. 

Carey, James, Irish informer, 31. 

Carleton, Colonel, at Nicholson's Nek, 250. 

Carlingford, Lord, Lord Privy Seal, 1 ; Pre- 
sident of the Council, 1. 

Carnarvon, Lord, Lord-Lieutenant of Ire- 
land, 74 ; supports Parnell's motion, 76. 

Carrington, Sir Frederick, in the Matabele 
War, 242. 

Cashmere, under English protection, 229 ; 
imperial levies from, 229. 

Cavendish, Lord Frederick, murder of, 26, 
31 ; Parnell charged with complicity in 
the murder, 105, 123, 124. 

Cetchwayo, restored, 59. 

Ceylon, Arabi banished to, 47. 

Chad, Lake, 217. 

Chamberlain, Joseph, President of the Board 
of Trade, 1 ; leader of the Radicals, 3 ; 
desires local government for Ireland, 72, 
86, 96, 122 ; urges social reforms, 79 ; his 
views in 1885, 80, 81, 83 ; accepts Glad- 
stone's manifesto, 83 ; supports Jesse 
Collings' amendment, 87 ; President of 
Local Government Board, 88, 89 ; resigns, 
90 ; opposes the 1880 Land Bill, 94, 95 ; 
finds the 1886 Home Rule Bill faulty, 95 : 
his election speeches, 96 ; declines office, 
102 ; at the Round Table Conference, 
103 ; opposes the 1887 Land Bill, 107 ; 
his character contrasted with Gladstone's, 
110; approves State socialism, 115, 116 ; 
suppoi ts free education, 80, 83, 138 ; leader 
of the Liberal Unionists, 140 ; his im- 
perial views, 147; his visit to Canada, 
159; "Judas," 166, 169; quoted, 166, 
168, 169; opposes Employeis' Liability 
Bill, 174, 175; becoming less democratic, 
181 ; his amendment to the Address in 
1895, 184; Colonial Secretary, 186, 187; 
his character, 187 ; his treatment of 
Ashanti, 187, 188 ; contrasted with Lord 
Salisbury, 188; his 1897 Colonial Con- 
ference, 198, 199 ; imperial questions left 
to him, 204 ; protects Indian sugar, 234 ; 
his ultimatum on the Drifts question, 
238 ; repudiates the Raid, 240 : suspicion 
as to his knowledge of the Raid, 240, 241 ; 



publishes bis despatch to Kruger, 241 ; 
weakness of his position, 242 ; insists on 
suzerainty, 243 ; his reply to the Jo- 
hannesburg petition, 244, 245 ; his diplo- 
macy at the Bloemfontein Conference, 
246 ; his election cry, 2G8. 

Chan Tung, the Germans in, 221-223. 

Chaplin, Henry, opposes the Compensation 
for Disturbance Bill, 5 ; Chancellor of the 
Duchy of Lancaster, 74 ; President of the 
Board of Agriculture, 98 ; presides at 
the Ely meeting, 140 ; introduces the 
Small Holdings Bill, 142; President of 
Local Government Board, 186. 

Chartered companies, East Africa, 153, 154 ; 
Uganda, 163: the Niger, 21? ; Mashona- 
land, 117, 236-238. 

Cherif, Egyptian Minister, 39 ; resigns, 40 ; 
his quarrel with the Chamber, 40, 41 ; 
made Premier, 47 ; resigns, 48. 

Chester, Bishop Javne of, his Temperance 
Bill, 171, 172. 

Childers, Hugh, War Secretary, 1 ; Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, 1 ; his able 
management of the War Office, 44 ; his 
Budget, 72, 73 ; his views on Home Rule, 
86 ; Home Secretary, 88 ; supports 
Goschen's conversion scheme, 120. 

China, war with Japan, 219 ; European 
interests in, 219-222; the Boxer insur- 
rection, 223, 224 ; siege of Pekin, 225, 
226 ; Peace negotiations, 226, 227. 

Chitral, disturbances in, 189 ; siege of, 229, 

Church, reaction shown in the. 273-275. 
[See Disestablishment, Education, Tithes, 

Churchill, Lord Randolph, opposes the 
Compensation for Disturbance Bill, 5 ; 
head of the Fourth party, 66 ; Indian 
Secrctaiy, 74 ; supports Parnell's amend- 
ment, 76; his influence, 79; his violent 
language, 92, 93 ; Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, 98, 93 ; visits Belfast, 99 ; re- 
signs, 101, 102; his State socialism, 115; 
his Irish programme, 122, 123 ; quoted, 
166, 167. 

Cingolo, hill, 258. 

Circassians, in the Egyptian army, 39, 42. 

Clanricarde, Lord, his evictions, ior. 

Cleveland, Democratic candidate, 159 ; Pre- 
sident of the United States, 206. 

Closure, use of the, 11, 13, 27 ; new rules on, 
103, 105, 106, 119, 108, 169 ; Gladstone's 
views on, 175. 

Coercion, necessity for, 7, 8 ; Forster's Bills, 
9-13, 29 ; proves ineffectual, 21, 22 ; 
Harcourt's Bill, 26, 29, 31 ; desired by 
Lord Spencer, 7 0, 71; proposal to do 
without, 75 ; desired by Forster, 81 ; 
necessity for, 86 ; Gladstone sees the 
failure of, 93, 103, 146. 

Colenso, first attempt to capture, 252, 253 ; 
second attempt, 258. 

Colley, Sir George, at Majnba Hill, 55. 

Collins, Jesse, his motions on allotments, 

Colonies, idea of federation, 3, CO, 78, 180, 
197-199, 278 ; Lord Derby's policy, 5f, 
58; Gladstone's policy, 59 ; responsibility 
of, 59, 196, 279 ; send troops to the Boer 
War. 197, 253, 279; Conference at the 
Jubilee, 198 ; value of the, 278, 279. 

Colville, General, 261. 

Commission of inquiry into the war, 247, 
253, 267. 

Commission, Royal, the Bessborough, 14 ; 
Lord Cowper's, 100, 106; on evictions, 
162, 163. 

Compensation for Disturbance Bill, 5, 6. 

Compton, Lord, his committee on the Dock 
strike, 113. 

Concert of Europe, its object, 33, 34 ; used 
in the Greek difficulties, 36 ; used in 
Egypt. 40, 54, 68 ; the creation of Lord 
Granville, 14S ; Lord Kimberley recalls 
to life, 207 ; Lord Salisbury uses for 
Armenia and Crete, 209-213. 

Conference at the Hague, 276, 277. 

Congested Districts Board, 133. 

Congo State, founded, 60, 154, 155; diffi- 
culties with the French, 217, 218. 

Constantinople, Goschen, Envoy Extraor- 
dinary at, 31; Sir Philip Curri-^ ambas- 
sador at, 207 ; outbreak aud massacres in, 

Continuity of foreign policy, 33, 51, 55, 71, 
75, 161, 163, 209. 

Convention with the Transvaal, 55, 57, 236. 

Cookson, Consul in Alexandria, quoted, 42. 

Cordite, motion on, 185, 203. 

Coumandouros, Minister of Greece, 33. 

Courtenay, Chairman of Committees, quoted, 

Cowper, Lord, Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 
1 ; his Commission of inquiry, 100, 106. 

Cranbrook, Lord, President of the Council, 
74 ; War Secretary, 74 ; President of the 
Council, 93. 

Crete, insurrection in, 211-213. 

Criminal Law Amendment Act, 103-106; 
enforced by Balfour, 107, 118, 122; re- 
laxed, 126, 135, 162. 

Croke, Archbishop, supports Paruell, 20. 

Cromer, Lord. [See Baring.] 

Cronje, at Magersfontein, 251, 255 ; his 
surrender, 256, 258 ; attempt to relieve 
him, 257. 

Cross, Lord, Home Secretary, 74 ; Indian 
Secretary, 98 ; Lord Privy Seal, 186. 

Cunninghame-Graham, at Trafalgar Square, 
112; imprisoned, 112, 113. 

Currie, Sir Philip, at Constantinople, 207, 

Curzon, Lord, bis optimistic views, lS;i; 
Viceroy of India, 234. 

Dahomey, the frontier settled, 217. 
Dalgety, Major, at Wepener, 262. 
Dalhousie, Lord, Secretary for Scotland, 



Davitt, Michael, imprisoned, 20; released, 
23 ; his views, 30 ; at Bodyke, 107 ; urges 
Paruell's withdrawal, 128. 

Day, Sir John Charles, on the Parnell Com- 
mission, 123. 

Death duties, alteration of, 182, 183. 

Delagoa Bay railway, 56, 238. 

J)e la Key, General. 264, 265. 

Delcasse, the French Minister, 218. 

Derby, Lord, Colonial Secretary, 1 ; his 
policy, 57 ; makes the London Convention, 
57, 58 

Dervish Pacha, at Dulcigno, 36 ; in Albania, 
36 ; in Egypt, 43. 

Dervishes. [See Mahdi.] 

De Villiers, General, 264. 

Devonshire, Duke of. [See Hartington.] 

De Wet, Christian, partisan leader, 260 ; 
attempt to capture him, 261, 262 ; his 
successes, 263 ; escapes, 264, 265. 

Diabekir, massacres in, 210. 

Diamond Hill, battle of, 261. 

Dilke, Sir Charles, President of Local 
Government Board, 1 ; his criticism of 
Lord Salisbury's policy, 160, 161. 

Dillon, John, suspended, 12 ; Land Court 
judge, 17 ; starts the Plan of Campaign, 
101 ; arrested, 101 ; at Michelstoun, 108; 
his trial, 127; at Boulogne, 129; im- 
prisoned, 129 ; desires Paruell's with- 
drawal, 130. 

Disestablishment. Of the English Church, 
Gladstone's view of, 82, 84 ; Lord Salis- 
bury's view of, 83. Of the Scotch Church, 
84. Of the Welsh Church, part of the 
Liberal programme, 139, 163, 164, 181, 
183, 184. 

Dissolution. [See Election.] 

Dock strike, 114, 115. 

Dodson, President of the Local Government 
Board, 1 ; Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, 1. 

Pongola, Kitchener's advance to, 2:4; re- 
united to E?ypt, 215. 

Doornkop, battle of, 262. 

Drifts, Kruger closes the, 238. 

Dual control, in Egypt, 37-47. 

Dudley, Lord, his amendment on the 
Employers' Liability Bill, 174, 176. 

Dufferin, Lord, in Egypt, 4 6, 47 ; Viceroy 
of Iudia, 157. 

Dulcigno, cession of. to Montenegro, 35, 36 

Dundee, Trades Union Congress at, 115 

Dundee in Natal, occupied by the Boers, 249. 

Durand, Sir Mortimer, in Afghanistan, 228, 

Eastern question, the, 33-36 ; 207-214. 

Edgar, shot in Johannesburg, 244. 

Education, Chamberlain desires free, 80 ; 
Gladstone reserves his opinion as to free, 
82; Technical started, 137; Free Educa- 
tion Act, 137, 138 ; Failure of Sir John 

Gorst's Bill, 190, 191 ; Voluntary Schools 
Act, 191; Board of Education Act, 192; 
Mr. Piobson's Bill, 193; condition of, 192. 

Egan, mentioned in Paruell's letter, 25. 

Egypt, difficulties in, 33, 37 ; the Dual con- 
trol in, 37; financial reforms, 38 ; Arabi's 
revolt, 39-45 ; reconstitution of, 45-47 ; 
evacuation of the Soudan, 47-52; im- 
provements in, 52-54 ; the question of a 
Protectorate, 46, 68, 69, 75, 78, 150, 156 ; 
Lord Cromer's government in, 53, 16LS, 
164 ; the Soudan campaign, 214-216. 

Fight Hours' Bill, the, 115. 

Elandslaagte, battle of, 249. 

Elcho, Lord, opposes the Land Bill, 16. 

Election, general, Dec. 1885, 84 ; July 
1886, 96, 97; July 1892, 142-145; July 
1895, 185 ; Oct. 1900, 267, 268. 

Elgin, Lord, Viceroy of India, 234. 

El Teb, battle of, 48. 

Ely, agricultural meeting at, 140. 

Employers' Liability Bill, promised, 164 ; 
introduced, 166; attempted, 174; dropped, 

Epirus, ceded to Greece, 36. 

Erzeroum, disturbances in, 207 ; massacres 
in, 208. 

Evictions, large number of, 5 ; outrages 
caused by fear of, 25 ; increasing, 100 ; 
Eord Clanricarde's, 101 ; Commission on, 
162, 163; Evicted Tenants' Bill rejected, 
181, 182 ; Evicted Tenants' Bill intro- 
duced, 183, 184. 

Fakrt, Egyptian Minister, 164. 

Famines in India, 233. 

Fashoda, Marchand at, 216 ; the French 
withdraw from, 218, 219. 

Fawcett, Henry, Postmaster-General, 1. 

Federation. [See Colonies.] 

Ficksburg, De Wet at, 264. 

Field, murder of, 30. 

Finnigan, Irish Member, suspended, 12. 

Fishery quarrels, in Newfoundland, 150, 
151 ; in America, 158-160. 

Forster, William Edward, Chief Secretary 
for Ireland, 1, 3; introduces Relief of 
Distress Bill, 4 ; defends the Compensa- 
tion for Disturbance Bill, 5; sees the 
necessity for coercion, 8, 9 ; his speech on 
" village tyrants," 11; his failure, 20,21 ; 
his resignation, 23 ; the Kilmainham 
treaty, 24, 25 ; review of his work, 28, 
29 ; his character, 8, 29 ; his attempted 
assassination, 31; his speech against Par- 
nell, 32 ; supports the Federation League, 
60 ; desires coercion. 81 ; dpclines office, 
90 ; his Education Bill of 1870, lf!0. 

Fouriesburg, Prinsloo's surrender at, 264. 

Fourth party, 66, 74. 

Fowler, Henry Hartley, President of Local 
Government Board, 162 ; introduces 



Parish Councils' Bill, 173; Indian Secre- 
tary, 180. 

France, its policy in the Eastern question, 
36 ; the Dual Control in Egypt, 37 47 ; 
Gambetta's policy in Egypt, 41 ; rift 
between Euglish and French policy in 
Egypt, 41, 44, 46, 47, 52 ; isolation after 
the German War, 148 ; dispute with Eng- 
land as to the Newfoundland fisheries, 
150, 151 ; joins in European expansion in 
Africa, 151 ; in Madagascar, 155 ; its 
interest in Egypt, 156 ; its relations 
with Burmah, 166 ; its possessions in 
Siani, 188, 189 ; joins the concert of 
Europe against the Armenian massacres, 
207 ; takes no active part in it, 208 ; its 
policy in Egypt, 215 ; the Fashoda inci- 
dent, 216, 218 ; its encroachments in West 
Africa, 217 ; its encroachments in the 
Nile Valley, 218 ; negotiations with Eng- 
land as to spheres of influence, 219; in 
Japan, 219; in China, 219, 222; joins in 
a Chinese commercial treaty, 223 ; adopts 
the Fviissian view in China, 227. 

Franchise Bill, 60-67 ; the " One man one 
vote Bill " promised, 144, 164, 166. 

Franchise question in the Transvaal, 237, 
241, 244, 246, 247. 

Free trade, Lord Salisbury's view of, 143 ; 
Chamberlain's view of, 234; reaction 
against, 273, 274 ; success of, 277, 279. 

French, General, at Elandslaagte, 249; re- 
lieves Kimberley, 255 ; at Doornkop, 262. 

Frere, Sir Bartle, Gladstone's opinion of his 
policy, 54. 

Freycinet, French Minister, 44. 

Frontier of India, 33, 70, 71, 75, 157, 228- 

Gambf.tta, his Egyptian policy, 41, 44. 

Gatacre, General, at Chitral, 230 ; at Storm- 
berg, 251, 252 ; at Springfontein, 260 ; 
his efforts to relieve Reddersburg, 261. 

Gee, political agent in Tochi, killed, 231. 

George, Prince of Greece, 212, 213. 

George, Henry, his Views on Land, 30, 78. 

Germany, its policy in the Eastern ques- 
tion, 36 ; enters on colonial expansion in 
Africa, 59. 151 ; Bismarck's policy, forms 
a triple alliance with Austria and Italy, 
148 ; disputes with England in Africa, 
153-155, 218 ; Salisbury's concessions to, 
156, 161, 219 ; the Emperor's telegram to 
Kruger, 189 ; takes no active part in the 
European concert against the Armenian 
massacres, 207, 208 ; leaves the concert, 
213; assists Japan, 219; obtains a port 
in China, 220, 221 ; joins in a Chinese 
commercial treaty, 223 ; its commanding 
position after the Pekiu siege, 227 ; tri- 
umph of industrial science in, 278. 

Gibson, opposes the Land Bill, 15. 

Gilgit, the English at, 229. 

Gladstone, William Ewart, First Lord of 
the Treasury and Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer, 1, 2 ; effect of his reappearance, 
2 ; defends Compensation for Disturbance 
Bill, 6 ; speech at Lord Mayor's dinner, 
sympathy for Ireland, 8 ; firmness 10 ; 
resolution for suspending members, 11 ; 
quoted, 12 ; introduces Land Bill, 13-15 ; 
his mastery of the Bill, 13, 16 ; his com- 
promise on the Bill, 19; his bitter 
speeches against Parnell, 21 ; his resolu- 
tion of censure against the House of Lords, 
22 ; dreaming of Home Rule, 23 ; denies 
the Kilmainham treaty, 23 ; introduces 
Arrears Bill, 26 ; his concessions in the 
Bill, 28 ; acknowledges failure, 28 ; con- 
ciliatory measures attributed to him, 29 ; 
his foreign policy, 32 ; opposes annexa- 
tion of the Transvaal, 54, 55 ; his colonial 
views, 59 ; introduces the Franchise Bill, 
60-62; protests against the House of 
Lords, 63, 64 ; his redistribution Bill, 66 ; 
his speech on the Pendjdeh incident, 70, 
71 ; his difficulties, 72; resigus, 73; 
promises forbearance, 74 ; review of bis 
administration, 76-78 ; his election mani- 
festo, 82 ; quoted, 82 ; his Midlothian 
speeches, 83, 84 ; his speech on Home 
Rule, 86 ; supports Jesse Collins' amend- 
ment, 87 ; First Lord of the Treasury, 
88 ; his views, 89, 90 ; brings in Home 
Rule Bill, 91 ; brings in Land Bill, 92 ; 
bitterly abused, 92, 93; his concessions, 
95 ; resigns, 97 ; mistrusted, 103 ; his 
large view of conciliation, 103 ; effect of 
his Land Act, 106 ; bis character con- 
trasted with Chamberlain's, 110, 111; 
quoted, 111 ; upholds order, 112 ; his de- 
votion to Home Rule, 117, 146 ; ready to 
accept compromise, 110, 119 ; his letter 
to Justin McCarthy, 128; refuses to 
pledge himself, 129, 130 ; his Irish Land 
Bills, 131 ; opposes Balfour's Land Bill, 
134 ; supports disestablishment in Wales, 
139, 163 ; his speech to agriculturist 
meeting, 140; moved by sentiment, 143; 
refuses to give details of his Home Rule 
Bill, 144, 146 ; desires a large majority, 
145 ; quoted, 146 ; First Lord of the 
Treasury and Privy Seal, 162 ; intro- 
duces Home Rule Bill, 165 ; his reso- 
lute management of the Bill, 167 ; uses 
" the guillotine," 168 ; quoted, 169 ; Duke 
of Argyll's speech against him, 170 ; 
objects to frequent use of the closure, 
175; obliged to drop Employers' Liability 
Bill, 176 ; disposed to peace, 177 ; close 
of his career, 178 ; his last speech, 179 ; 
his death, 179 ; his dislike of militarism, 
182 ; effect of his withdrawal, 186. 

Glencoe, General Penn Symons at, 249. 

Glensharrold, evictions at, 127. 

Gordon, General, undertakes the withdrawal 
from the Soudan, 48, 51; his death and 
character, 50 ; bis anomalous position, 
51 ; outcry at his desertion, 68, 69 ; effect 
in Afghanistan of his death, 70. 



Gorst, Sir John, President of the Educational 
Gouncil, 186 ; introduces the Education 
Bill, 190, 191. 

Goschen, Lord, Envoy Extraordinary at Con- 
stantinople, 34 ; marks out the Greek 
frontier, 36 ; his objection to the agri- 
cultural franchise, 3t, 62 ; his views, 83 ; 
opposes Jesse Collins' amendment, 87 ; 
declines office, 34, 88, 90 ; his opposition 
to Home Rule, 95-97 ; Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, 98, 102 ; his ability, 34, 
116 ; his conversion scheme, 119, 120 ; 
his budgets, 120, 121, 136 ; his use of the 
spirit duties, 137 ; his Free Education Bill, 
137 ; First Lord of the Admiralty, 186 ; 
his proposed increase of the navy, 195 ; 
his retirement and last interview with 
the Queen, 268. 

Goshen, the Boers at, 58. 

Graham, General, at El Teb. 48. 

Grant, Lieutenant, at Bethulie, 260. 

Granville, Lord, Foreign Secretary, 1, 3 ; 
his Egyptian diplomacy, 37, 44 ; upholds 
Turkey in Egypt, 41 ; letter from Cook- 
son, 42 ; quoted, 46 ; responsible for 
Gordon, 51 ; defends the Franchise Bill, 
65 ; Colonial Secretary, 88 ; the concert 
of Europe his creation, 148 

Greece, frontier disputes, 34-36; assists 
Crete, 211, 212, 21 3. 

Grey, Sir Edward, his protest, 218. 

Gubat, battle of, 50. 

Gui lotine, method of closure, 105, 168, 169. 

Gully, William, elected Speaker, 184. 

Hague, Peace Conference at, 276. 277. 

Halsbury, Lord Chancellor, 74, 98, 186. 

Hamilton, Ian, his advance to Pretoria, 
262 ; at Diamond Hill, 264. 

Hamilton, Lord George, First Lord of the 
Admiralty, 74, 98; Secretary for India, 

Banbury, Robert, President of the Board of 
Agriculture, 186. 

Hannen, Sir James, on the Parnell Com- 
mission, 123. 

Harcourt, Sir William, Home Secretary, 1, 
3 ; introduces Prevention of Crimes' Bill, 
26 ; his speech on Egypt, 69 ; Chancellor 
of the Exchequer, 88 ; announces Pro- 
rogation, 96 ; Chancellor of the Exchequer, 
162, 180; his budget, 182; his alteration 
of the Death Duties, 183. 

Harley, Lieutenant, at Chitral, 229. 

Harris, Dr. Rutherford, his opinion of 
Chamberlain, 241. 

Harrison, General, President of the United 
States, 160. 

Harrowby, Lord, Lord Privy Seal, 74. 

Hart, General, at Colenso, 253 ; at Pieters' 
position, 258. 

Hart-Dyke, Sir William, Secretary for 
Ireland, 74. 

Hartington, Lord, Indian Secretary, 1, 3; 
War Secretary, 1 ; declines the Premier- 
ship, 2; defends the Compensation for 
Disturbance Bill, 6 ; quoted, 48 ; his 
election speeches, 81, 83 ; opposes Jesse 
Collins' amendment, 87 ; declines office, 
88, 90 ; his objections to Home Rule, 93, 
95, 97 ; declines the Premiership, 98 ; 
opposes Tenants' Relief Bill, 100, 101 ; 
declines office under Lord Salisbury, 102, 
116; becomes Duke of Devonshire, 140; 
supports the House of Lords, 146 ; leader 
of the Liberal Unionists, 170 ; opposes 
Home Rule Bill, 170, 171 ; supports the 
Parish Councils Bill, 176 ; complains of 
the alteration of the Death Duties, 1 83 ; 
President of the Council, 186. 

Hay, American Minister, in China, 223. 

Healy, Maurice, quoted, 130. 

Healy, Timothy, secures a seat in Ulster, 
32 ; defends Parnell, 105. 

Heilbron, Lord Roberts at, 264. 

Heligoland, ceded to Germany, 155, 156, 

Heneage, Edward, his amendment to the 
Land Bill, 16, 18; Chancellor of the 
Duchy of Lancaster, 88. 

Herschell, Lord, Lord Chancellor, 88; on 
Lord Compton's Committee, 113 ; Lord 
Chancellor, 162, 188 ; supported by 
Gladstone, 178. 

Hicks-Beach, Sir Michael, his amendment 
on Childers' Budget, 73; Chancellor of 
the Exchequer, 74 ; Irish Secretary, 98 ; 
Board of Trade, 98 ; in Ireland, 100 ; 
opposes Tenants'' Relief Bill, 101 ; 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, 186. 

Hicks Pasha, in the Soudan, 48, 51. 

Hinterland, principle of, 155, 217. 

Hlangwana Hill, 258, 259. 

Hofmeyer, forms the Africander Bond, 58. 

Holdich, Sir Hungerford, quoted, 232. 

Holland, Sir Henry, Colonial Secretary, 98, 
102; holds a Colonial Conference, 109; 
(Lord Knutsford in 1889). 

Home Rule, Gladstone determines on, 23 ; 
the Irish demand, 71, 72, 146; the un- 
authorised scheme published, 85, 86 ; 
Gladstone proposes, 86, 87 ; he prepares 
his measure, 89, 90 ; strongly opposed by 
Bright, 91 ; the first Bill rejected, 91-96 ; 
Lord Spencer's view of, 94, 95, 97 ; effect 
in Ireland of its rejection, 99, 100, 103 ; 
Local government substituted for it by 
the Conservatives, 104, 122, 141, 202 ; 
Gladstone willing to modify his Bill, 
110, 111, 169; Gladstone's devotion to, 
117, 146; risked by Parnell's fall, 128- 
130; at the head of the Newcastle pro- 
gramme, 139 ; preparation of the second 
Bill, 162, 164; the Bill rejected, 164-171 ; 
Gladstone's disappointment, 178; Rose- 
bery's opinion of, 170, 180, 181 ; killing 
it with kindness, 201. 

Hong-Kong, acquisition of Kan Lung, 222. 

Houghton, Lord, Lord - Lieutenant for 
Ireland, 162, 180. 



Iddeslkigit, Lord, [See- Northcote.] 

Ilo, boundary of Nigeria, 217. 

Imperial Institute, founded, 109. 

Imperialism, dislike of the Liberals to, 3, 
59 ; necessity for controlling the Colonies, 
59, 60 ; spread of, 77, 78, 109 ; varieties 
of, 147, 148 ; Lord Salisbury's view of, 
151, 152, 156, 204 ; Lord Rosebery's view 
of, 180 ; Chamberlain's view of, 187, 189, 
196, 197 ; the Australian federation, 197- 
199; a sign of reaction, 273; growth of 
the idea, 278; its possible advantages, 
279, 280. 

India, mentioned in the Queen's speech, 4 ; 
troops from India used at Tel-el- Kebir, 
45; and at Wady Haifa, 5], 52; the 
I'endjdeh incident, 70, 71 ; Indian princes 
at the Jubilee, 109, 157 ; Indian traders 
in Africa, 153 ; annexation of Burmah, 
156 ; Lord Dufferin's administration, 157 ; 
Lord Lansdowne reorganises the armies 
of protected princes, 157 ; the National 
Congress, 158 ; outbreak in Manipur, 158 ; 
Indian princes at the Diamond Jubilee, 
198 ; North-West Frontier difficulties, 227, 
228 ; siege of Chitral, 229, 230 ; the Tirab j 
campaign, 231, 232 ; famines and plague, 
233 ; Lord Curzon's commercial measures, 
234 ; Egypt valuable because of, 45, 91, 
156, 214; South Africa valuable because 
of, 236. 

Invincibles, trial of the, 31. 

Ireland, prominence of difficulties in, 3 ; 
Relief of Distress Bill, 4 ; Compensation 
for Disturbance Bill, 5 ; outrages in, 6; 
Boycotting, 1 ; arrest of Land Leaguers, 
7 ; necessity for coercion, 8 ; obstruction 
in Parliament, 9, 10; Forster's Coercion 
Bills, 11, 12 ; Irish members suspended, 
12 ; Land Bill, 13-19 ; power of the Land 
League, 19, 20; Convention of Dublin, 
20 ; suppression of the Land League, 21 ; 
reign of terror, 21, 22 ; Forster's resigna- 
tion, 23 ; the Kilmainham treaty, 24, 25 ; 
murder of Lord Frederick Cavendish, 26 ; 
Prevention of Crimes Bill, 26, 27 ; Arrears 
Bill, 26, 28 ; Former's work, 28, 29 ; 
Trevelyan's work, 29, 30 ; the National 
League, 30 ; the Invincibles, 31 ; Parnell's 
power, 32 ; Lord Spencer's administration, 
67, 71 ; Land Purchase Bill proposed, 72 ; 
the Ashbourne Act,75 ; Parnell's demands, 
83, 84 ; importance in Parliament, 85 ; 
the unauthorised Home Rule scheme, 85 ; 
necessity of coerciou, 86 ; approach of 
Home Rule, 88, 89 ; Home Rule Bill, 91- 
96; Land Bill, 92-96; Lord Randolph 
Churchill's visit to Belfast, 99 ; increase 
of evictions, 100 ; Tenant's Relief Bill 
rejected, 100; the plau of campaign, 101; 
Criminal Law Amendment Bill, 103-106; 
Land Bill, 106, 107 ; Arthur Balfour's 
administration, 107 ; Michelstown, 108, 
111 ; Gladstone's devotion to Home Rule, 
117,146; Trevelyan's description of, 118; 
disturbed condition of, 122 ; the Parnell 
Commission, 122-124 ; extension of the 

Ashbourne Act, 124, 125 ; Morley's 
amendment, 125; social improvements in, 
125, 126 ; New Tipperary, 126, 127 ; 
Nationalists condemned by the Church, 
127 ; fall of Parnell, 127-130 ; the Land 
Purchase Bill, 131-134; Congested Dis- 
tricts Board, 133 ; Crimes Act relaxed, 
135 ; Irish Local Government Bill, 141, 
142 ; Gladstone's conciliatory policy, 162, 
163 ; Home Rule Bill, 164-171 ; peace 
and prosperity, 200 ; Gerald Balfour's 
Land Bill, 200-202; Local Government 
Bill, 202, 203 ; Agricultural Department, 
203 ; Wyndham's administration, 204. 

Ismail, Khedive of Egypt, dethroned, 37. 

Ismailia, Wolseley at, 44, 45. 

Italy, its Egyptian policy, 53 ; joins a triple 
alliance with Austria and Germany, 148 ; 
makes an arrangement with England, 
148 ; its colonies in Africa, 151, 214, 218 ; 
joins in the Chinese commercial treaty, 
223 ; agrees with Germany in its Chinese 
policy, 227. 

Jacksox, William, Secretary for Ireland, 
98, 141. 

James, Lord, Chancellor of the Duchy of 
Lancaster, 186. 

Jameson Raid, 189, 234, 239, 240 ; its con- 
sequences, 241, 242, 245. 

Janina, fortress, 36. 

Japan, war with China, 219 ; joins the 
commercial treaty with China, 223 ; its 
rapid growth, 219, 224 ; joins in the treaty 
of peace with China, 227. 

Johannesburg, the position of the outlanders 
in, 234, 237-246 ; the discovery of gold, 
237 ; Lord Loch's visit, 237 ; Colonel 
Rhodes in, 239 ; the petition, 244 ; Lord 
Milner's despatch as to, 245, 246 ; Lord 
Roberts in, 262. 

Joubert, Boer general, 55. 

Joyces, the murder of, 30, 76. 

Jubilee, for the fiftieth year of the Queen's 
reign, 108, 109, 157 ; for the sixtieth year, 
198, 199. 

Kassala, in danger, 214. 

Kau Lung, acquisition of, 222. 

Kekewich, Colonel, his defenceof Kimberley, 

Kelly, Colonel, relieves Chitral, 229. 
Khartoum, Gordon at, 48 ; Wolseley's 

Soudan campaign, 50 ; fall of, 50, 51 ; 

outcry for its reconquest, 68, 69 ; 

Kitchener's Soudan campaign, 214-216. 
Khedive. [See Tewfik.] 
Kiao-Chow, acquisition of, by Germany, 




Kilimanjaro, frontier of the English sphere 
of influence, 154. 

Kilmainham, Land Leaguers imprisoned in, 
21, 23, 29 ; the so-called treaty, 24, 25, 27. 

Kimberley, Lord, Colonial Secretary, 1 ; 
Indian Secretary, 1, 88 ; President of the 
Council, 162; Indian Secretary, 162; 
Foreign Secretary, 180; his efforts to 
rescue the Armenians, 207-209. 

Kimberley, the diamond mines at, 238 ; 
besieged, 247 ; Lord Methuen's advance 
towards, 251 ; relief of, 255, 256. 

Kirk, Sir John, his work in Zanzibar, 154. 

Kitchener, Lord, Sirdar in Egypt, 164 ; his 
Soudan Campaign, 214-2i6 ; Chief of the 
Staff to Lord Roberts, 197, 253 ; prepares 
for the advance, 255 ; attempts to capture 
De Wet, 265 ; succeeds Lord Roberts, 

Klip river, crossed, 262. 

Knutsford, Lord. [See Holland.] 

Komatipoort, occupied, 266. 

Kroonstad, occupied, 262. 

Kruger, Paul, at the conference after 
Majuba Hill, 55 ; his conference with 
Lord Derby in London, 57 ; the German 
Emperor's telegram to, 189 ; his interview 
with Lord Loch in Pretoria, 237 ; his 
efforts for financial independence, 238 ; 
his hostility, 238 ; considers Rhodes a 
dangerous enemy, 239 ; his dignified 
behaviour after the Raid, 240; irritated 
by Chamberlain, 241 ; declines to visit 
London, 242 ; his position strengthened, 
242 ; makes treaties, 243 ; at the Bloem- 
fontein Conference, 245, 246 ; he offers a 
five years' franchise with conditions, 247; 
in the railway at Machadodorp, 265 ; 
withdraws to Europe, 266. 

Krugersdorp, Dr. Jameson at, 240. 

Kumasi, occupied, 188. 

Kurds, in Armenia, 34, 207. 

Kwang-Chow-Lung, obtained byFrance, 222. 

Kyber Pass, the, in danger, 231 ; re-opened, 

Labouchere, Henry, at Michelstown, 108 ; 
his motion against the House of Lords, 

Labour Department, established, 163. 

Ladysmitb, siege of, 249-252, 258, 259. 

Lagos, colony at, 217. 

Laing's Nek, Sir George Colley at, 55 ; the 
Boers enter Natal by, 247, 249 ; General 
Buller re-occupies, 260. 

Land Court, establishment of, 14-19 ; work- 
ing of, 21, 31 ; alterations in, 100, 106, 107. 

Land League, its power, 7-9, 13, 20; its 
suppression. 21, 22 ; its connection witli 
outrages, 29-32 ; its Convention in 
Dublin, 20. 

Land reform, necessity for, 4, 6, 8, 9, 100, 
124,189; Gladstone's Act, 13-19; Glad- 

stone's Arrears Act, 26-28; Gladstone's 
proposed Bill, 72 ; Ashbourne's Act, 75, 
124; Gladstone's Bill, 91, 92, 96, lOli, 
132 ; Salisbury's Act, 106, 107 ; Arthur 
Balfour's Act, 131-134 , Gerald Balfour's 
Act, 200-202. 

Lansdowne, Lord, Viceroy of Tndia, 157 ; 
War Secretary, 186 ; Foreign Secretary, 
186, 268. 

Lawson, Judge, attempted murder of, 30. 

Legations at Pekin, besieged, 225, 226. 

Leotard, French Governor of Ubangi, 218. 

Liberal party, break up of the, 76-80, 85-88, 
90, 91, 95-97, 102, 103, 181, 185. 

Liberal Unionists, rise of the, 95-93, 102, 
107, 109, 116, 136. 

Lindley. the yeomanry at, 263. 

Liquidation law, in Egypt, 38, 52. 

Lloyd, Clifford, in Egypt, 47. 

Lobanoff, Prince, 208. 

Lobengula, Matabele chief, 177. 

Local government, promised, 99, 102 ; the 
Bill, 120-122; for Ireland, 104, 141, 142, 
202, 203. 

Local option, promised, 164, 166 ; dropped, 
17 1 ; promised, 183, 184. 

Local taxation, 136, 137, 190. 

Loch, Lord, in Pretoria, 237. 

Lockart, Sir William, the Tirah Campaign, 
231, 232. 

London Convention, with the Transvaal, 
57, 236. 

Londonderry, Lord ; Lord-Lieutenant of 
Ireland. 98 ; leader of the landlords in the 
Upper House, 202. 

Long, Walter, President of Board of Agri- 
culture, 186; President of Local Govern- 
ment Board, 186. 

Lords, House of, reject Compensation for 
Disturbance Bill, 6 ; damage the Land 
Bill, 17, 18 ; appoint Commission of 
Inquiry, 22 ; in antagonism with the 
Lower House, 18, 22, 27, 28, 63, 64, 
174-176, 185; oppose Arrears Bill, 27, 
28 ; oppose Franchise Bill, 62, 63 ; motion 
to reform the, 64, 66-68 ; a party 
instrument of the Tories, 65, 67 ; oppose 
Home Rule, 166, 170; reject Employers' 
Liability Bill, 174-176; oppose Parish 
Councils Bill, 175 ; Gladstone's opinion 
of, 178, 179 ; Labouchere's motion 
against, 181; reject Evicted Tenants 
Bill, 182; oppose the Land Bill, 202; 
increased importance of, 117, 146, 274. 

Lorenzo-Marques, Portuguese, 152; Kruger 
at, 266. 

Low, Sir Robert, relieves Chitral, 230. 

Lumsden, Sir Peter, in Afghanistan, 70, 71. 

Lundi Kotal, defence of, 231. 

Lydenburg, occupied, 265. 

Lyons, Lord, letter from Lord Granville ; 41. 



Maamtrasna, murders at, 30, 76. 

MacCarthy, Justin, bis amendment on 
evictions, 9 ; the letter from Gladstone, 
128 ; succeeds Parnell, 129, 130. 

Macdonald, Sir Hector, at Omdurman, 215 ; 
in the Boer War, 255. 

Macdonald, Colonel James, in Uganda, 216. 

Machadodorp, Kruger at, 265. 

Mackinnon, Sir William, head of the East 
African Company, 154. 

Maclaren, opposes Employers' Liability 
Bill, 174. 

Madagascar, the French in, 155, 156. 

Madras, famine in, 233. 

Mafeking, besieged, 247, 251 ; relief of, 
262, 263. 

Magersfontein, battle of, 251. 

Mahdi, first appearance of, 47 ; conquers 
Hicks Pasha, 48 ; threatens Gordon, 48, 
51 ; power of, 52 ; his death, 75. 

Mahdi, the second, Kitchener's campaign 
against, 214-216. 

Mahmoud, Sami, Egyptian Minister, 40. 

Mahon, Colonel, relieves Mafeking, 263. 

Maidan, valley, 232. 

Majuba Hill, battle of, 55. 

Malakand, force at, 230; assaulted, 231. 

Malet, Sir Edward, in Egypt, 43. 

Manchuria, the Russians in, 221-223 ; 
nobles of, 224, 225. 

Mandelay, occupied, 157. 

Manipur, outbreak in, 158. 

Mann, Thomas, organises the Dock Strike, 
' 114. 

Manners, Lord John, Postmaster-General, 
74 ; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 
98 ; (Duke of Rutland in 1888). 

Manning, Cardinal, in Lord Compton's 
Committee, 113 ; ends the Dock Strike, 

Marchand, Captain, at Fashoda,216, 218,219. 

Mashonaland, invaded by the Matabele, 
177 ; Dr. Jameson administrator of, 234 ; 
foundation of the Company, 236 ; de- 
prived of military authority, 242. 

Matabele war, 177, 178 ; outbreak, 242. 

Mathew, Judge, commission under, 162, 163. 

Matoppo Hills, Rhodes at, 242. 

Matthews, Henry, Home Secretary, 98. 

Maxwell, Sir Benson, in Egypt, 47. 

Metemma, Gordon's steamers at, 50. 

Methuen, Lord, advances to Kimberley, 
251 ; quoted, 252 ; by the Modder River, 
255 ; in the Transvaal, 263, 265. 

Michelstown, 107, 108 ; Gladstone's speech 
on, 111. 

Milner, Lord, in Egypt, 163 ; High Com- 
missioner, 243 ; his study of South African 
affairs, 244 ; his despatch quoted, 245, 
246 ; his work of restoration after the 
war, 266. 

Modder river, 251, 255, 256. 

Mohmands, the, 228, 231. 

Molteuo Gatacre at, 252. 

Moucrieff, Scott, in Egypt, 47 ; recalled, 163. 

Monroe, President of the United States, 205, 

Monte-Christo bill, 258. 

Montenegro, cession of territory to, 34, 35. 

Morley, Arnold, Postmaster-General, 162, 

Morley, John, Secretary for Ireland, 88 ; his 
views on Home Rule, 88, 97 ; at New- 
castle, 94; quoted, 125 ; supports Glad- 
stone, 128 ; his conversations with Parnell, 
129 ; supposed to desire withdrawal from 
Egypt, 161; Secretary for Ireland, 162; 
appoints a Commission on evictions, 162 ; 
his conciliatory policy, 162, 163 ; Secretary 
for Ireland, 180 ; his life of Gladstone 
quoted, 182 ; his sympathetic rule, 200 ; 
bis proposed Land Bill, 200 ; moves a 
vote of censure, 214. 

Mountmorres, Lord, murder of, 6, 7. 

Mouravieff, Count, 221. 

Mozambique, Portuguese territory, 59, 152. 

Mundella, A. J., President of the Board of 
Trade, 88, 162 ; allows meetings in Tra- 
falgar Square, 163. 

Murphy, Judge, quoted, 105. 

Mustapha Fehmi, Egyptian Minister, 164. 

Natal, agitation in, 58, 59 ; the Boer War 
in, 249-255, 257-260. 

National League in Ireland, founded, 30 ; 
accepts the plan of campaign, 101 ; en- 
courages intimidation, 105 ; proclaimed a 
dangerous association, 107 ; Parnell re- 
fuses to produce the accounts of, 130 ; 
the proclamation against it dropped, 

Naval demonstration against Turkey, 35, 
36 ; at Alexandria, 42, 43 ; round Crete, 
211-213 ; proposed in Chiua, 225. 

Navy, increase of the, 149, 182, 195, 196. 

Netherlands railway, 56, 238. 

Newcastle, Liberal federation at, 139 ; pro- 
gramme, 164. 

Newcastle, Natal, Colley at, 55 ; the Boers 
occupy, 249. 

Newfoundland, fishery disputes, 150, 151, 

New Guinea, its annexation prevented, 59, 

New Unionism, rise of, 115. 

Nicholson's Nek, battle of, 250, 259. 

Niger, difficulties with the French on, 217. 

Nile, map of, 49 ; route to Khartoum, 50 ; 
Kitchener's advance by, 215, 216; the 
French encroachments on, 217, 218; re- 
served to England, 219. 

Noel, Admiral, at Crete, 213. 

Noitgedacht, prisoners released, 265. 

Nonconformists, importance of, 128 ; strong 
in Wales, 135, 139 ; object to tithes, 135 ; 
object to the Voluntary Schools Aet, 191 ; 
obtain a grant to the Board schools, 192. 
[See Education.] 

Norfolk, Duke of, Postmaster-General, 186. 



Northbrook, Lord, First Lord of the Ad- 
miralty, 1, 3; High Commissioner in 
Egypt, 53 ; declines office, 90. 

Northcote, Sir Stafford, opposes obstruction, 
10 ; moves a vote of censure, 68 ; First 
Lord of the Treasury, 74 ; Earl of Iddes- 
leigh, 74 ; Foreign Secretary, 98 ; his 
death, 102. 

Nottingham, Gladstone's speech at, 111. 

Nubar Pasha, Egyptian Minister, 48. 

Nyassa, Lake, 153. 

O'Brien, William, arrested, 101 ; editor of 
United Ireland, 107 ; summoned to 
Michelstown, 107, 108; imprisoned, 108; 
excuse for the Trafalgar Square Meeting, 
112 ; his trial in Tipperary, 127 ; at 
Boulogne, 129, 130 ; imprisoned, 129. 

Obstruction. [See Parliament.] 

O'Donnell, his action against the Times, 122. 

O'Dwyer, Bishop, condemns boycotting, 127. 

O'Hagan, Judge of the Land Court, 17. 

Oliver, General, 263, 264. 

Olney, President Cleveland's secretary, 206. 

Omdurman, battle of, 215, 216, 219. 

Onslow, Lord, opposes Parish Councils Bill, 

Orakzais, the, 228, 231, 232. 

Orange State, the, r attempted arbitration, 
55 ; railway through, 238 ; treaty with 
Transvaal, 243, 245, 248 ; outlanders' 
rights in, 246 ; intervention of, 247 ; in- 
vaded, 255, 256, 260 ; annexed, 261 ; 
Roberts' march, 262 ; l)e Wet in, 263- 

Orinoco, river, 204. 

O'Shea, interview with Parnell, 24; his 
letters, 24, 25. 

Osman Digna, at Tokar, 48. 

Outlanders in Johannesburg, 237-246. 

Paardeburg, Cronje's surrender at, 256, 

Pamirs, the, 229. 

Parish Councils, demanded, 139, 140 ; 
Chaplin objects to, 140 ; promised, 164 ; 
the Bill, 172-176. 

Parliament.antagonism between the Houses, 
18, 19, 22, 23, 27, 28, 64, 66, 176, 185 ; 
members suspended, 12, 27 : new rules of 
procedure, 11, 12, 82, 103, 105, 119, 
168 ; Gladstone's view of its dignity, 
12, 82, 89 ; stormy scenes in the House, 
9, 12, 32, 166, 169. [Dissolutions, see 

Parnell, Charles Stewart, suggests " Boy- 
cotting," 7 ; his views, 9 ; opposes Coercion 
Bills, 10; suspended, 12; opposes the 

Land Bill, 13, 16, 17 ; his amendment on 
arrears, 18, 19 ; at the Dublin Convention, 
20 ; his speeches against Gladstone, 21 ; 
imprisoned, 21, 22 ; his interview with 
O'Shea, 24; his letter quoted, 24, 25 ; de- 
scribes the National League, 30 ; charged 
with conniving at outrages, 32 ; his 
power, 9, 20, 32, 62, 75, 76 ; desires Home 
Rule, 72, 81 ; his election manifesto, 
83, 84; his alliance with the Conserva- 
tives, 76, 84-86 ; his amendment to the 
Address, 100 ; his Tenants' Belief Bill, 
100, 101 ; his threats of renewed agitation, 
101 ; the forged facsimile letter, 105, 123, 
124 ; his amendment on arrears, 119 ; 
charged with countenancing murders, 105, 
123; the Parnell Commission, 123,124; 
his fall, 127-129; his death, 130; his 
opposition to Balfour's Land Bill, 134. 

Parnell, Fanny, forms the Ladies' Land 
League, 20. 

Pauncefort, Sir Julian, at Washington, 
160 ; his able management, 206. 

Peace Conference at the Hague, 276, 277. 

Pechili, gulf of, 219. 

Peel, Lord, Speaker, refuses to use his 
powers, 10; new powers, 11; more strin- 
gent powers, 12 ; his position intolerable, 
103 1 ; calms a stormy scene, 170 ; retires, 

Pekin, Russian influence in, 219 ; siege of 
the Legations in, 225, 236. 

Pendjdeh, Russian advance to, 70, 71. 

Penn-Symons, General, in Natal, 249. 

Persia, delimitation of the frontier, 228. 

Peshawur, expedition from, 230-232. 

Peters, Dr., in Africa, 154, 155. 

Petition, the Johannesburg, 244. 

Pfeil, Count, in Africa, 154. 

Piennaar, General, 266. 

Pieter's position, battle of, 258, 259. 

Pigott, in the Parnell Commission, 124. 

Pitsani, Dr. Jameson at, 239. 

Plague, in India, 233. 

Plan of campaign, started, 101 ; its effect, 
103 ; supported by Davitt and O'Brien, 
107 ; successful, 122, 126. 

Plumer, Colonel, in the Matabele rising, 
242 ; attempts to relieve Mafeking, 262. 

Pluukett, Horace, opposes Compensation 
for Disturbance Bill, 5 ; his excellent 
work, 203 ; President of the Department 
of Agriculture, 203. 

Ponsonby estate, 126. 

Poona, outbreak at, 233. 

Pope Alexander VI., his Bull, 204. 

Pope Leo XIII., his letter to the Irish, 
122, 127. 

Popham, Captain, at Bethulie, 260. 

Port Arthur, acquired by Russia, 219, 221- 

Portugal, quarrel with, in Africa, 151-153. 

Potgieter's Drift, Warren at, 254. 

Power, O'Connor, his Relief of Distress 
Bill, 4. 

Prempey, King of Ashanti, 187, 188. 

Prendergast, General, in Burmah, 157. 



Pretoria, Convention of, 55, 56, 235 ; Lord 
Loch at, 237 ; prisoners at, 249, 262 ; 
Lord Roberts at, 262, 263, 265. 

Pretorius, at the Conference after Majuba 
Hill, 55. 

Prevention of Crimes Bill, 26, 27. 

Pribyloff Islands, 160. 

Prinsloo, General, 263 ; surrenders, 264. 

Proclamation, Lord Roberts', 261, 266. 

Protection of Property Bill, 9-13. 

Punjab, famine in, 233. 

Quetta, railway to, 71, 157. 
Quinton, in Manipur, 158. 

R aires, Cecil, Postmastei -General, 98 

Reddersburg, surrender at, 261. 

Redistribution Bill, 66, 67. 

Redmond, John, his Arrears Bill, 23, 24, 
26; succeeds Parnell, 130; opposes the 
Home Rule Bill, 167. 

Registration Bill, promised, 164, 166 ; 
dropped, 171 ; brought in, 181. 

Reiz, Secretary of the Transvaal, his ulti- 
matum, 247. 

Relief of Distress Bill, 4. 

Rhenoster, De Wet at, 263. 

Rhodes, Cecil, head of the Chartered Com- 
pany, 177 ; his Cape to Cairo railway, 
154, 216 ; his character, 238, 239 ; his con- 
nection with the Raid, 239 ; Chamber- 
lain's opinion of, 241 ; his courage, 242 ; 
at Kimberley, 255. 

Rhodes, Frank, in Johannesburg, 239. 

Rhodesia, growth of, 177. 

Riaz, Egyptian Minister, 39, 42, 47, 164. 

Ridley, .Sir Matthew, proposed as Speaker, 
184 ; Home Secretary, 186. 

Riet, General French crosses the, 255. 

Rietfontein, battle of, 249. 

Ripon, Lord, First Lord of the Admiralty, 
88 ; Colonial Secretary, 162, 180 ; annexes 
Zululand, 236. 

Ritchie, Charles, President of the Local 
Government Board, 98 ; introduces Local 
Government Bill, 120 ; President of the 
Board of Trade, 186; Home Secretary, 

Pobertson, agent at Chitral, 229. 

Robinson, Sir Hercules, at Pretoria, 55, 56 ; 
tries to stop the Raid, 239 ; deceived by 
the conspirators, 241, 243 ; becomes Lord 
Rosmead, 243. 

Robson, W. S., his Education Bill, 193. 

Roodival, De Wet at, 263. 

Rosebery, Lord, Lord Privy Seal, 1, 68 ; 
supports Federation League, 60; his 
motion for reform of the House of Lords, 
66, 67, 185 ; " the shadow of Gladstone's 

umbrella," 81 ; Foreign Secretary, 88, 90 ; 
his imperial views, 60, 147, 161, 180, 187 ; 
Foreigu Secretary. 162 ; quoted, 170 ; 
First, Lord of the Treasury and President 
of the Council, 180; his character, 180, 
181 ; opposes the Agricultural Rating 
Bill, 193 ; his speech on the Queen's 
death, quoted, 271. 

Rosmead, Lord. [See Robinson.] 

Round Table Conference, 102, 103. 

Rundle, General, 263. 

Rupee, fixed, 234. 

Russell, Sir Charles, interrupted, 105 ; in 
the Parnell Commission, 123, 124. 

Russia, in Afghanistan, 70, 71,74; treaty 
of neutrality with Germany, 148 ; sells 
Alaska to America, 160 ; in Afghanistan, 
157, 189 ; joins the concert of Europe, 
207 ; gives no active assistance, 208, 210 ; 
its Egyptian policy, 215 ; its aggressions 
in China, 219-227 ; relations with Afghan- 
istan, 228, 230 ; proposes a Peace Con- 
ference at the Hague, 276. 

Rutland, Duke of. [See Manners.] 

Saint Helena, Cronje sent to, 256. 

Salisbury, Lord, opposes the Land Bill, 17- 
19 ; appoints committee of inquiry as to 
the Land Act, 22 ; raises the importance 
of the House of Lords, 22, 23, 117, 146, 
274 ; opposes the Arrears Bill, 27, 28 ; 
quoted, 35 ; opposes the Franchise Bill, 
63, 64; influenced by Lord Randolph 
Churchill, 66, 79 ; moves vote of censure, 
69 ; Premier and Foreign Secretary, 74 ; 
his wise foreign policy, 75; his election 
manifesto, 83 ; resigns, 87 ; quoted, 97 ; 
First Lord of the Treasury, 98 ; Foreign 
Secretary, 98, 102; influenced by the 
Liberal Unionists, 107, 116 ; addresses 
the Colonial Conference, 109; receives 
Lord Compton's Committee, 113 ; quoted, 
113, 115; at the Liverpool meeting, 
116; as a party leader, 117; his views 
on free trade, 143 ; on the rights of 
property, 144 ; resigns, 147 ; his foreign 
policy, 147 ; his view of imperialism, 148, 
151 ; his attitude as to British interests, 
152 ; his settlement of the disputes in 
Africa, 153-155; his settlement of the 
fishery quarrels with America, 159, 160 ; 
Sir Charles Dilke's criticism of his foreign 
policy, 161 ; quoted, 166 ; opposes the 
Home Rule Bill, 170; opposes the Em- 
ployers' Liability Bill, 174; opposes the 
Parish Councils Bill, 176 ; Premier and 
Foreign Secretary, 186, 187 ; his treat- 
ment of the Siam difficulty, 188 ; his 
successful foreign policy, 204 ; his 
management of the Venezuela difficulty, 
206 ; quoted, 209 ; his failure in the 
Armenian atrocities, 209-211 ; his success 
in Crete, 211-213 ; his love of peace, 209, 



214; his firmness as to Fashoda, 218,- 
219; quoted, 210; his Chinese policy, 
221, 222, 227 ; objects to a naval de- 
monstration, 225; his determination to 
keep Chitral, 230 ; dissolves Parliament, 
267 ; resigns the Foreign Office, 268 ; his 
speech on the Queen's death, quoted, 272. 

Salisbury Plain, bought, 196. 

Sand River Convention, the, 56, 235. 

Sandeman, Sir Robert, in Baluchistan, 157. 

Sannah's Post, 260, 261. 

Saunderson, Colonel, accuses Parnell, 105. 

Scotch Church, Gladstone's views of, 84, 

Scotch missions at Blantyre, 153. 

Scott-Moncrieff in Egypt, 47, 163. 

Selborne, Lord, Lord Chancellor, 1, 3; 
opposes the Land Purchase Bill, 72 ; 
declines office, 90. 

Selborne, Lord, First Lord of the Admiralty, 
186, 268. 

Senegal, French colony at, 217. 

Senegambia, French colony at, 217. 

Sexton, Thomas, defends Parnell, 105. 

Sey, on the Niger, 217. 

Seymour, Admiral, at Dulcigno, 35 ; at 
Alexandria, 43 ; at Tientsin, 225. 

Shaw-Lefevre, George, First Commissioner 
of Works, 162 ; President of the Local 
Government Board, 180. 

Sheridan, Egan'e agent, 25 

Shire, river, 153. 

Siam, difficulties with, 188, 189. 

Sikhs, at Chitral, 229 ; heroism of, 231. 

Small Holdings Bill, 142. 

Smit, conference with Lord Derby, 57. 

Smith, Sir Archibald, on the Parnell Com- 
mission, 123. 

Smith, William Henry, opposes Compensa- 
tion for Disturbance Bill, 5 ; against 
obstruction, 10 ; his motion on arrears, 
24; War Secretary, 74; Secretary for 
Ireland, 74; War Secretary, 98; First 
Lord of the Treasury, 98 j Leader of the 
House, 102 ; enforces the " guillotine," 
105; death, 141. 

Socialism, wave of, 78, 79 ; at Trafalgar 
Square meetings, 112, 113; among the 
Radicals, 135 ; spread of, 138. 

Sokoto, the French at, 217. 

Soudan, difficulties in, 47 ; abandonment 
of, 48-52 ; Lord Salisbury's opinion of, 
69 ; expenses of the war in, 72 ; with- 
drawal from, completed, 75 ; recovery of, 

Speaker, the. [See Peel.] 

Spencer, Lord, President of the Council, 
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, 1 ; his able 
management of Ireland, 67, 71, 76 ; con- 
siders coercion necessary, 72, 75; Presi- 
dent of the Council, 88 ; supports Home 
Rule, 94, 97, 170 ; quoted, 95 ; First Lord 
of the Admiralty, 162, 180 ; his scheme 
of naval increase, 182, 195. 

Spheres of influence, in Africa, 154, 155, 
217, 218 ; in China, 222, 223. 

Fpion Kop. 251, 255. 

Spitzkop, Buller at, 265. 

Springfontein, Gatacre at, 260. 

Stalbridge, Lord, opposes Employers' Lia- 
bility Bill, 174. 

Stanhope, Philip, President of the Board of 
Trade, 74 ; Colonial Secretary, 98 ; War 
Secretary, 98, 102 ; satisfied with the 
army, 149. 

Stanley, H. M., instigates the Congo State, 
154 ; quoted, 155. 

Stanley, Lord, Home Secretary, 74 ; Presi- 
dent of the Board of Trade, 98. 

Stellaland, Sir Charles Warren in, 58. 

Stewart, General, at Abu Klea, 50. 

Steyn, President, intervenes, 247 ; with De 
Wet, 265. 

Stormberg, the Boers invade, 247 ; Gatacre 
at, 252. 

Strikes, 113-115. 

Suakin, threatened by the Madhi, 48, 52. 

Sugar industry in India protected, 234. 

Sullivan, Irish member, imprisoned, 108. 

Sultan. See Abdul Hamid. 

Suzerainty of the Transvaal, 56-58, 235, 
236, 242, 243. 246, 247. 

Swat valley, the, 231. 

Symons, Penn, in Natal, 249. 

Talana Hill, battle of, 249. 

Talienwan, leased by the Russians, 221. 

Tanganyika, lake, Germans at, 153-155. 

Tel-el-Kebir, battle of, 45. 

Temperance, legislation, 136, 137 ; local 
option, 164, 171, 172. 

Tenants' Relief Bill, 100, 101. 

Tewfik, Khedive of Egypt 1883-1892, his 
accession, 37 ; dismisses Riaz, 39 ; Gam- 
betta's note to, 41 ; breach with his Minis- 
ters, 42 ; warns Arabi, 43 ; powerless, 45 ; 
Lord Granville's letters, 46 ; commutes 
Arabi's sentence, 47 ; appoints Gordon 
Governor of the Soudan, 51 ; his death,164. 

Thabanchu, occupied, 260; disaster at, 261. 

Thebaw, King of Burmah, 156, 157. 

Thessaly, ceded to Greece, 36, 213. 

Thomeycroft, Colonel, at Spion Kop, 254, 

Tientsin, Admiral Seymour at, 225. 

Tillett, Benjamin, organises the Dock Strike, 

Times, the, the forged Parnell letter pub- 
lished in, 105 ; O'Donnell's action against, 
122, 123 ; the false Johannesburg letter 
published in, 239. 

Tipperary, the plan of campaign in, 126, 127. 

Tithes Bill, 135. 

Tochi, disaster in, 231. 

Tokar, besieged, 48. 

Tonquin, French settlement at, increased, 
219, 222. 

Tory Democrats, 66, 74, 99, 116, 120. 

Trades Unions, 114, 115, 274. 

Trafalgar Square, meetings in, 112, 163. 



Transvaal, annexation of, 54, 235"; restora- 
tion of, 55-58, 235, 236; limits of the 
frontier fixed, 57, 58, 236, 237. 

Trevelyan, Sir George, Secretary for Ireland, 
1 ; Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, 
1 ; his work in Ireland, 29-31, 76 ; sup- 
ports the Franchise Bill, 62 ; his views 
of Home Rule, 86 ; Secretary for Scotland, 
88 ; likely to resign, 89, 90 ; Secretary 
for Scotland, 162, 180. 

Tricoupis, Greek Minister, 36. 

Triple alliance, formed, 148 ; adhered to, 

Tuan, successor to the Chinese throne, 225 ; 
banished, 227. 

Tugela, the Boers reach, 250 ; Buller at, 

Tunis, difficulties in, 41 ; French colony in, 

Tupper, Sir Charles, in Canada, 159. 

Turkey, attempts to enforce the Berlin Treaty 
in, 33-36 ; its position in Egypt, 37-44 ; 
supports Arabi, 40, 43 ; the Armenian 
atrocities, 189, 207-210 ; the insurrections 
in Crete, 211 ; war with Greece, 212; has 
to grant autonomy to Crete, 213. 

Tweedmouth, Lord, Chancellor of the Duchy 
of Lancaster, 180. 

Ubangi, the French at, 218. 
Uganda, kingdom of, 151, 155, 163, 216 
Umra Khan, at Chitral, 229. 
Unauthorized Home Rule scheme, 85, 86. 
Unemployed, the, in Trafalgar Square, 112 ; 

efforts for, 113; dock labourers, 114; 

Asquith's Labour Department for, 163. 
United Ireland, newspaper, quoted, 101. 

Vaal, the, drifts, 238 ; Lord Roberts 
crosses, 262. 

Vaalkranz, Buller at, 255, 257. " 

Van, massacres at, 210. 

Van Reenen's Pass, 264. 

Vassos, Greek general, 212. 

Venezuela, difficulties with, 189, 204-206. 

Vernon, one of the Land Court Judges, 17. 

Victoria, Lake, 154, 155, 216. 

Victoria, Queen ; her regard for constitu- 
tional precedent, 2 ; induces Lord Salis- 
bury to accept office, 74 ; her Jubilee, 
108, 109 ; her Diamond Jubilee, 198, 272 ; 
her interviews with Lord Roberts, 267, 
269 ; her interview with Lord Goschen, 
268 ; her death, 269 ; her character and 
greatness, 269 ; her work, 270 ; speeches 
by Balfour, Campbell-Bannerman, Lord 
Rosebery, Archbishop Temple, and Lord 
Salisbury, 270-272 ; as Empress, 272. 

Villiers, Sir Henry, at Pretoria, 56. 

Vincent, Edgar, in Egypt, 47, 52. 
Vladivostok, Russian port, 219. 
Voluntary Schools Act, 191, 192. 
Volunteers, sent to Boer War, 197, 253. 
Vredefort, De Wet at, 264. 

Wady Halfa, limit of Egypt, 51, 52, 214. 

Wai-hei-wai, acquisition of, 222. 

Waldersee, Count, at Pekin, 226, 227. 

Wales, disestablishment in, 139, 163, 164, 
181, 183, 184. 

Walker, Samuel, Lord Chancellor for 
Ireland, 162, 180. 

Wanga, boundary of German •* sphere " in 
Africa, 154. 

War Office, reorganization of, 196 ; in- 
capacity of, 197 ; need of reform, 248, 267. 

Warren, Sir Charles, in Bechuanaland, 58, 
236 ; forbids Trafalgar Square meetings, 
112 ; at Spion Kop, 254, 255. 

Waterval, prisoners at, 262. 

Webster, Sir Richard, in O'Donnell's action 
against the Times, 122 ; in the Parnell 
Commission, 123. 

Wemys, Lord, his amendment on the 
Franchise Bill, 64. 

Wepener, Brabant at, 260 ; siege of, 262. 

West, Sir Sackville in Canada, 159 ; retires, 

Westminster Abbey, the Socialists in, 112. 

White, Sir George, in Natal, 249; in Lady- 
smith, 250 ; his defence of Ladysmith, 259. 

Wilson, Sir Charles, at Khartoum, 50. 

Wolseley, Lord, at Ismail ia, 44 ; at Tel-el - 
Kebir, 45 ; his expedition to Khartoum, 
50 ; desires army reforms, 149 ; made 
Commander-in-Chief, 196 ; retires, 267. 

Wolverton, Lord, Postmaster-General, 88. 

Wood, Sir Evelyn, in Egypt, 47 ; succeeds 
Colley, 55 ; at Pretoria, 56. 

Woodford, evictions at, 101 ; meetings at, 

Woodgate, General, at Spion Kop, 254. 

Working classes, spread of Socialism, 78, 
79, 143; measures for their relief sug- 
gested by Chamberlain, 79, 80, 81; by 
Lord Hartington, 81 ; by Gladstone, 82 ; 
by Lord Salisbury, 83, 113, 115, 143, 144 ; 
by Mr. Chaplin, 140 ; Jesse Collings' 
motion, 87 ; the unemployed, 112, 163 ; 
strikes, 113, 114; new Unionism, 115, 
116, 274; charitable sentiment towards, 
113, 144, 179; importance of the agri- 
cultural vote, 139, 140; Mundella's 
Labour Department, 163 ; small measures 
of relief passed, 193. [See also Agricul- 
tural franchise, Allotment Act, Bishop 
of Chester's Bill, Employers' Liability 
Bill, Free Education, Local Government, 
Parish Councils, Small Holdings, Work- 
men's Compensation.] 
Workmen's Compensation Bill, promised, 
189; introduced, 193, 191. 



Workmen's Houses Bill, 193. 
Wyndham, George, Secretary for Ireland, 
186 ; character, 201. 

Yeomanry, in the Boer War, 197, 253, 263. 
Yule, General, at Ladysmith, 249. 

Zambesi, free navigation secured, 153. 
Zanzibar, development of, 153; Germans 

at, 154; British protectorate restored, 

155, 161. 
Zebehr, slave trader, 51. 
Zetland, Duke of, Lord - Lieutenant of 

Ireland, 98. 
Zulus, protectorate over, 59 ; in Matabele- 

land, 177 ; risk of their joining the Boers, 




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